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May 23, 2019

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Many Uber and Lyft cars are defective

One out of six Uber and Lyft drivers in the New York City and Seattle areas are driving vehicles with outstanding recalls, according to Consumer Reports.

But taking a taxi or limousine isn’t necessarily a safer option: Nearly a quarter of traditional for-hire vehicles in New York City such as taxis, limousines and livery cabs also need repairs due to outstanding recalls, the reports said.

That means many of the cars people jump into using the most popular ride-hailing apps have outstanding issues that they haven’t repaired such as faulty airbags, possible engine failure and potential car fires.

Consumer Reports analyzed nearly 94,000 ride-hailing vehicles in the New York City and Seattle areas, and about 30,000 traditional for-hire vehicles including taxis and limousines in New York City. They took vehicle identification numbers which were publicly available in those markets and ran them through a Carfax tool that checks if they have open recalls.

“The fact is, the recalls inherently by law are issued when they present an unreasonable safety risk,” said Ryan Felton, investigative reporter for Consumer Reports. And the tens of millions of people who actively use Uber and Lyft services “may not realize that in some of these cars, that the companies are not requiring the cars to be fixed.”

When an Uber driver has an outstanding recall that’s serious enough to prompt a “do not drive” warning, that driver is deactivated, Uber said.

The company initiated the practice last June.

Lyft drivers’ cars in those markets are inspected before they hit the road and drivers are responsible for making sure their vehicle meets industry safety standards, Lyft said.

“Lyft drivers use their personal vehicles to drive on the platform — the same car they use in their daily lives, driving their kids to school or friends around town,” Lyft said.


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