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Questioning the Safety of Ride Share Vehicles

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Despite the popularity of ride share services, it’s surprising how few people question the safety of ride share vehicles. This is of particular concern especially regarding the issue of car part recalls.

Channel 2 News in Houston investigated ride share drivers and passengers during a major event, to gauge how many of them were aware if their ride share vehicle had any recall items. With the help of MyCarFax app, the crew scanned ride share vehicle license plates to see which ones had current recalls. Then, they approached the ride share drivers and passengers.

The Sobering Results

One driver claimed that he got the recall letter, but whether or not he followed through with the necessary vehicle repairs is unclear. Another driver seemed mostly oblivious that his car had a problem, responding, “I’m going to get with the mechanic. I appreciate you informing me.”

Many ride share passengers that the team questioned showed a similar level of ignorance about the safety of the vehicle they chose to travel in. When one passenger was informed of a recall issue with the ride share car before he got in the car, he disregarded the concern and proceeded to ride in the vehicle.

CBS Boston performed a similar investigation, surveying Uber and Lyft participants around Logan Airport in Massachusetts. About 16% of the 167 vehicles’ whose license plates were scanned had recalls. Also like the Channel 2 News team’s results, both drivers and passengers seemed equally unaware of the recalls.

Current Corporate Policies

You have to ask, what the protocol is for ride share companies when it comes to alerting their drivers of recall issues with certain vehicles? And is there an accountability system in place to ensure that the drivers actually fix the recall issue with a mechanic?

Uber notifies their drivers of recalls and encourages them to keep up to date on recalls on a regular basis. The company also advises drivers to check with NHTSA for any recalls, on a quarterly basis.

Lyft articulated, “All vehicles undergo annual inspections to ensure that they meet industry safety standards.” The company also expressed that since drivers often use their primary vehicle for transporting ride share passengers, there’s more incentive for them to keep on top of recall issues.

As the prevalence of ride share services continues to increase in the days ahead, companies like Uber and Lyft should consider adopting more strict maintenance requirements and explicit accountability policies to ensure the safety of their fleet’s vehicles.

News Source: KPRC 2 News, CBS Boston