Uber and Lyft Vehicles May Have Uncompleted Recall WorkDecember 21, 2016 | Category: Automobile Accidents, Defective Products, Personal Injury | Share
Tampa Bay 10 News reported on November 22, 2016 that if you call for a Lyft or Uber ride in the U.S., you have a 1-in-3 chance of getting into a vehicle that has not had its federally-mandated safety recall work completed. This information is from 10 News Investigators, TEGNA-owned television stations and Cars.com. What this means is that consumers may be riding in vehicles with issues ranging from the benign to the potentially catastrophic.
Between the years 2014 and 2015, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) says that it issued a record number of recalls which impacted more than 102 million vehicles. These recalls are issued by the auto manufacturers and the NHTSA when they determine that a vehicle or particular piece of motor vehicle equipment creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety standards. Manufacturers must repair the recalled vehicles for free, but consumers are not actually required to fix their cars; many do not.
Why isn’t the safety recall work being completed?
NBC 3 WKYC reported on November 23, 2016 the following:
- In many cities with large for-hire fleets, there are no specific regulations ensuring that vehicle owners stay current with recall work.
- In the case of Uber and Lyft, the vehicles are owned by independent owners and contractors, so if there is a recall, the owners are the ones who are being notified, not the company.
- Companies like Uber and Lyft have taken the position that they are technology companies merely facilitating a transaction between two individuals.
What are Uber and Lyft doing about the problem?
Uber: The ride-sharing company does not specifically require drivers to show they are current with recall work. "We regularly provide resources to driver-partners and encourage them to check for recalls and to perform routine maintenance," spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said in an email.
Lyft: This ride-sharing company does not require its "peer-to-peer" drivers to show they are current with recall work. "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," spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna said in an email. "Drivers have a strong personal incentive to make sure their car is in a safe operating condition. In addition to a safety inspection, drivers make a continuous representation that their vehicle meets the industry safety standards and all applicable state department of motor vehicle requirements of its kind."
Who has legal liability?
When safety recalls are ignored by ride-sharing services, legal liability can become difficult should there be an accident as the result of the defective vehicle. Should Uber or Lyft be held responsible in addition to the independent driver? Some believe that both the driver and the ride-sharing company could be liable for damages.
“The legal liability for accidents involving ride-sharing is complicated and requires the services of an experienced team of attorneys, such as our team at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.,” said Naples Personal Injury Attorney, Randall Spivey. “If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a vehicle-for-hire, contact us.”
Naples Personal Injury Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.