Ride-hailing apps have become a part of our everyday lives. You may call a Lyft for a ride to the airport or get an Uber to avoid driving impaired after a night on the town. But a new study shows that the vehicles you’re riding in may not be as safe as you’re led to believe.
A new Consumer Reports study showed that up to one in six vehicles driven by Uber and Lyft drivers have open recalls – some serious – and the companies are doing little to address the issue.
Consumer Reports reviewed the safety records for vehicles registered to ride-hailing-app drivers in Seattle and New York City. Of the 93,958 vehicles the study identified, 15,175 (16.2 percent) had at least one open safety recall.
The dangers posed by the recalled vehicles in question varied. Some have seatbelts that become detached, others experience engine failure and some even have the notoriously defective Takata airbags. The study also found some licensed cars that were more than a decade old, a violation of Uber and Lyfts own rules in some instances.
When asked for comment, both Uber and Lyft emphasized the need and their desire for safer roads, while shifting the onus onto the individual drivers.
“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. Drivers have a strong personal incentive to make sure their car is in a safe operating condition,” Lyft said in a statement to Consumer Reports.
Though so many cars employed by ride-hailing apps have recalls, the number is actually on par with privately owned vehicles. Take the same safety precautions in an Uber or Lyft as you would with other cars: riding in the back seat is safest, always buckle up and if you are in an accident in a ride-hailing vehicle, report it to police and to the app immediately.
If you’re injured in an Uber, Lyft or taxi – whether it had safety recalls or not – you may be owed compensation for your troubles. Consider seeking the guidance of an attorney who can show you the best path forward and what options you have available.