SAN FRANCISCO (AP/CBS SF) – A consumer study revealed tens of thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers are behind the wheel in cars that have been recalled, in some cases, for deadly defects.
One in six Uber and Lyft drivers in the New York City and Seattle areas are driving vehicles with outstanding recalls, according to Consumer Reports.
The report said many of them have been recalled for life-threatening issues such as faulty air bags and possible engine failure.
A recalled Takata airbag, for example, could malfunction and kill the driver and front seat passengers.
The report said one in six cars in the rideshare study had one or more open safety recalls, which was “on par with all personal vehicles on the road,” but says Uber and Lyft, “are letting down their customers and jeopardizing their trust,” by putting passengers at risk.
Both ride-sharing companies are based in San Francisco.
In its defense, Uber said when a driver has an outstanding recall that’s serious enough to prompt a “do not drive” warning, that driver is deactivated.
Lyft said cars in New York City and Seattle areas are inspected before they hit the road.
“It’s unclear whether any ride-hail customer or driver has been injured because of an issue related to an open safety recall, and the rate of open recalls we found for registered ride-hail vehicles in our investigation is about the same rate estimated for all vehicles on the road,” said the report.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can order recalls, but “doesn’t have direct oversight of Uber and Lyft.”
Consumer Reports advocates says the companies should do more.
“Uber, Lyft, taxi companies, and anyone offering for-hire rides should check cars for open recalls, and ban any with unrepaired safety defects from picking up passengers,” Consumer Report safety policy advocate William Wallace says. “If they won’t do so, states and local governments should make them.”
Until they do, CR says people to check the license number of a ride-hail car for safety defects before getting in with the myCarfax app.
“They can open myCarfax and punch in the license plate number of the vehicle, which then immediately reveals whether or not it has an open safety recall.”
© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.