Uber is once again in headlines, this time for renting out defective/ recalled cars to its drivers in Singapore. The U.S. based ride-hailing company, Uber leased defective cars that were subject to a recall to drivers in Singapore in 2016 to boost its business and as a result, one of them caught fire early this year.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Uber was aware of the recall when it bought more than 1,000 defective Honda Vezels and rented them. Honda recalled the model due to a faulty electrical part that could overheat and catch fire. Uber, anyway, rented them out in spite of sending the cars to the repair workshop to get them fixed.
One of the rented Vezels caught fire in January this year but neither the passenger nor the driver was found hurt as no one was in the car, however, it left a big hole in the windscreen and melted interior.
“We took swift action to fix the problem, in close coordination with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority as well as technical experts. But we acknowledge we could have done more—and we have done so,” said Uber in a statement.
After the Vezel fire, Uber claimed that it stopped buying cars from unauthorized importers and posted out jobs for automotive-safety experts to ensure the safety of its passengers and drivers.
Uber bought the cars from auto importers rather than licensed dealers to save on spending, the Journal reported. The importers sold the cars without fixing the issue because of the shortage of parts. Days after the fire broke out in one of the Vezels, Uber alarmed the Vezel drivers to take their car to a repair workshop to get the faulty part deactivated. Deactivating or removing the faulty part was not approved by Honda, but Uber thought it would be safer.
“We’ve introduced robust protocols and hired three dedicated experts in-house at LCR (Lion City Rental) whose sole job is to ensure we are fully responsive to safety recalls. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve proactively responded to six vehicle recalls and will continue to do so to protect the safety of everyone who uses Uber,” added Uber.
Head over to the Wall Street Jornal to read the full report.