The stars abandon their cars at the roadside and are pelted with stones by people accusing them of joking about the Falklands War.
The BBC has dismissed accusations that Top Gear deliberately chose a car with a number plate appearing to refer to the Falklands War to cause controversy while filming in Argentina.
The programme’s cast and crew are flying out of the country after facing protests from politicians and army veterans.
Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond were reportedly among those who had to abandon their cars at the roadside and flee after being pelted with stones by an angry crowd.
The team used a Porsche with the registration number H982 FKL, which some people suggested could be seen to refer to the conflict which took place in 1982.
A group of war veterans protested outside their hotel and one local politician said they were escorted to the airport.
Juan Manuel Romano, secretary of social development for Ushuaia in southern Tierra del Fuego province, said: “They have taken the decision to leave.”
The BBC confirmed they were leaving the country, although show bosses have said the number plate was merely a coincidence.
The programme has already run into problems this year, with one episode found to be in breach of Ofcom’s broadcasting code for the use of a racially offensive term during a two-part special filmed in Burma, following a complaint from a couple of viewers.
And Clarkson apologised after unbroadcast footage emerged in which he appeared to use the N-word, although he denied actually saying it.
The team from the show are in South America filming a special on a remote highway passing through Chile and Argentina.
Executive producer Andy Wilman said: “Top Gear production purchased three cars for a forthcoming programme; to suggest that this car was either chosen for its number plate, or that an alternative number plate was substituted for the original is completely untrue.”