There was someone on this forum that tried to claim a virus could make the heads of the hard drive crash into the platters. Since the heads or the platters were not designed to move vertically, such a thing would be impossible. The only things that can cause a head crash are severe physical shock or debris between the platters and the heads.
No, viruses cannot cause hard drives to fail. They can destroy data... but physically the hard drive will be just fine. Now, if there was a virus that could infect or wipe out the firmware of a hard drive (like the Chernobyl virus did with BIOS chips)... then it certainly would be possible to render the drive useless... but firmware can also be rewritten.