The Center for Auto Safety has issued a statement saying that there are many taxicabs out there that have not been repaired for safety recalls. According to a report on Forbes.com, taxis are required to pass annual vehicle inspections in many jurisdictions. However, the inspections often do not directly address open recalls. This is a big problem because recalled vehicles that do not get repaired can pose serious threats to drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Taxis Operate Under the Radar
Jason Levine, the center’s executive director, says that in the case of taxicabs, consumers tend to assume that they are going to be safe and free from recalls because they are regulated. But, passengers have no way of telling if they cab they are calling has an open recall. The center has announced a new initiative that urges regulators representing nine of America’s 10 cities with the largest number of taxis on the road, more than 35,000 in total, to take action.
The safety group has sent letters to the city governments of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, New York City, Washington D.C. and Houston and the state governments of Michigan and Maryland, which regulate Detroit and Baltimore’s taxis respectively. The group has asked these municipalities to prohibit taxis with unrepaired recalls from operating in their jurisdictions and require that they be repaired as soon as possible.
San Francisco is the only city that currently checks taxis for open recalls. The others only require that the taxi pass mechanical inspections. So, for example a vehicle with a faulty ignition or defective airbag, could slip under the radar. The GM ignition switch failures resulted in at least 170 fatalities in the United States. Exploding Takata airbag inflators resulted in at least 24 deaths worldwide.
Safety Should Come First
Consumers ride in taxis, expecting to get into a vehicle that has been inspected for safety. Repairing vehicles for safety recalls is as easy as taking them to the dealership. And under the law, recall repairs must be performed for free. Checking whether a taxi has been recalled is also simple. All it takes is to run the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website. In August, the Center called on Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via to remove recalled vehicles from their rideshare platforms.
Whether you have been injured as the result of a defective vehicle that was part of a taxi or rideshare company, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages and losses from various involved parties. Please contact an experienced California car accident lawyer to get more information about pursuing your legal rights.