A recent Consumer Reports study looked at vehicle registration for ride-sharing companies in Seattle and New York, and found that 16.2% of vehicles in service had at least one or more active safety recalls. The total number of vehicles surveyed in the study with safety recalls was 15,175. One car in service in Seattle had over 5 different open safety recalls, including one for a defective Takata airbag. Overall, the percentage of recalled vehicles on the road for Lyft and Uber is actually lower than other car-hire services such as the traditional taxi industry. However, the scale and frequent use of these ride-sharing services increases the risk of a defective vehicle causing a collision while in service.
Uber and Lyft’s Response
Uber and Lyft have publicly stated that they are committed to customer safety. For example, Uber has a limit on how old cars that use their service can be. Additionally, depending on the locality, ride-sharing vehicles must complete a vehicle inspection before being allowed to operate.
However, the problem of safety recalled vehicles is emblematic of Uber and Lyft’s relationship with their drivers. Uber and Lyft want to push the responsibility for safety-recalled vehicles to drivers, since the companies assert the drivers are not employees but independent contractors. But drivers may not have the capability or initiative to address their vehicle safety issues. Without direct intervention from Uber and Lyft, recalled vehicles remain on the road.
Speaking to Consumer Reports, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety Jason Levine said, “Uber and Lyft have the ability to have zero recalled cars on their platforms at the push of a button. They both claim to be technology companies yet refuse to use that technology to take this obvious step to decrease the danger from unrepaired recalls on their drivers and customers.”
Consumer Reports suggests ride-sharing app users check to see if their car has any outstanding recalls using Carfax app, which tells you recall info about your ride-sharing car once you know the model. Also, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s list of active recalls for further information about recalled vehicles.
Did a vehicle with a safety recall cause you to suffer physically or emotionally? Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help. Reach out today to schedule a consultation for your auto accident case.