For New Yorkers who want to avoid driving and prefer not to take public transportation, ride sharing apps are a major convenience. Uber, Lyft and other entities that offer these services have grown exponentially in recent years, largely because so many people use them. It is believed to be a safe alternative especially if the passenger has had a night on the town or needs to multitask and does not want to behave in a dangerous way behind the wheel. However, with this convenience comes the need to trust that the vehicles are in proper condition. As a new study from Consumer Reports shows, many are not.
The study shows that, for every six vehicles driving for Uber and Lyft in New York City and Seattle, one has outstanding recalls which have yet to be addressed. For those who think they will take a taxi, a livery cab or a limousine instead, these vehicles also have a significant number of outstanding recalls at almost 25 percent. With this information, many people are entering these vehicles unaware that there could be a safety issue like a malfunctioning air bag, engine problems or the risk of fire. In the two areas studied, close to 94,000 vehicles that passengers can hail were assessed. Approximately 30,000 taxis and limousines were studied. The researchers used publicly available information to discover the number of vehicles that did not have their recalls addressed.
Recalls are conducted when there is a safety risk. People who are getting into these vehicles place themselves in jeopardy for catastrophic injuries and death. Uber says that if it becomes aware of an outstanding recall for one of its drivers, the driver will not be allowed to drive for the company. Lyft says that the vehicles are inspected prior to going out on the road. In New York, the Taxi and Limousine Commission handles these problems by sending reminders to the owners, but there are no penalties handed out.
People who think they are taking the safe route by using a ride sharing vehicle have no way of knowing if the vehicle has an outstanding recall. A crash can cause passenger injuries for which the driver and the company could be held responsible. When there is an accident in one of these vehicles, it is important for those who were hurt or who lost a loved one to have a full investigation including whether the vehicle had an outstanding recall. Calling for legal advice is key to a filing to recover compensation after an auto accident.