Center for Auto Safety Asks Uber/Lyft to Stop Using Recalled Cars

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
center for auto safety asks uber lyft to stop using recalled cars

Last week, the Center for Auto Safety announced it had reached out to America’s ride-hailing giants to encourage them to stop allowing drivers to use vehicles under active recalls. The group’s release references a Consumer Reports study from this spring that alleged 1 in 6 automobiles commissioned by Uber and Lyft had unresolved defects in the NYC and Seattle areas.

“Unrepaired recalled vehicles are dangerous and can kill or injure drivers, passengers, bikers, or pedestrians. Exploding Takata airbag inflators which have resulted in at least 24 deaths worldwide, GM ignition switch failures which have resulted in at least 170 deaths in the U.S., and hundreds of other less-publicized defects pose equally significant threats to public safety,” explained the advocacy group. “Yet, recent studies from Consumer Reports and others have found concerning numbers of rideshare vehicles with unrepaired recalls on the Uber and Lyft apps.”

The Center for Auto Safety goes after “so called ‘technology’ companies” pretty hard after that by suggesting they could easily afford to ensure their vehicles are safe, having already convinced Wall Street their organizations are worth billions of dollars.

The group then urges readers to sign its petition to demand the companies take action while providing copies of the letters issued to the CEOs of Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via. They’re more or less identical, but do include a portion addressing each company’s response to the Consumer Reports study.

Here’s an excerpt from its letter to Uber:

In its response to Consumer Reports’ investigation, Uber claimed that it was blocking vehicles with ‘Do Not Drive’ notices from its app. While a step in the right direction, this action is inadequate because it does nothing about the vast majority of recalled cars that do not receive a ‘Do Not Drive’ designation.

Uber can stop the use of cars with open safety recalls on its platform at the proverbial push of a button. Uber claims to be a sophisticated technology company but, so far, your company has refused to use easy to access technology to decrease the danger of unrepaired recalls to your customers and drivers. At a minimum, Uber should give its customers the choice of whether to ride in a recalled vehicle at the time a driver is assigned.

It’s unclear what action the advocacy group plans to take if the ride-hailing firms don’t give it the response it wants. As for its demands, it urged them to utilize the NHTSA’s site to check VINs without providing an ultimatum. But whatever power it manages to wield will likely be dictated by the amount of support it can garner via the petition.

[Image: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock]

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  • SilverCoupe SilverCoupe on Aug 14, 2019

    I normally do get all recalls taken care of, but when my '01 Audi TT was recalled in order to get an ugly rear spoiler added because it was otherwise potentially unstable at speeds over 135 mph, I did ask myself how often I would be driving the little four cylinder over 135 on the roads of the United States. I refused to have it done. The recall stayed on the books for the ten years I owned the car. I do not know what later owners did.

  • Maymar Maymar on Aug 14, 2019

    I wonder if there's a ton of people here who're also super pissed off about the 737 MAX grounding too. At best, I could see the argument for giving passengers the option to opt out of being offered rides in vehicles with outstanding recalls (as they have the right to gauge their own risk assessment, rather than trust the driver's judgement). But Silicon Valley rarely demonstrates they'll do anything resembling the right thing without being legally compelled to do so.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Drove a rental Cherokee for several days at the beginning of this year. Since the inventory of rental cars is still low, this was a 2020 model with 48k miles and V6. Ran fine, no gremlins, graphics display was easy to work, plenty of power, & very comfortable. Someone must of disarmed the lane assistance feature for the steering wheel never shook (YES!!!!!!!!). However, this woman's voice kept nagging me about the speed limit (what's new!?!?!?!).I was impressed enough to consider this a prime candidate to replace my 11 yr old Ford Escape. Might get a good deal with the close out of the model. Time will tell. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Bullnuke One wonders if this poor woman entered the US through Roxham Road...
  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.