Everyone needs transportation, whether it’s from home to work, to see family, to the gym, or to the grocery store. And many of us don’t bat an eye when someone hails a ride from services such as Lyft or Uber. These ride-sharing services are one of the easiest ways to get around, and they help local drivers make some extra money at the same time. This is usually a win-win situation for both the customer and the driver. But have you ever wondered just how safe a ride-share is?
One of the biggest dangers of using these ride-share services is one that is easily checked and avoided: safety recalls. Unfortunately, customers rarely ever think to check on this themselves. If a ride-shared car you hail has a safety recall that has not been fixed, it is just as dangerous for you as it is for the driver and others on the road.
Here’s an example: GM’s widespread recall for faulty ignition switches. The defective ignition switch can turn to the “off” or “accessory” position during operation. When this occurs, the power steering doesn’t work, making it hard to steer the car. This defect also causes the power brakes to fail, making it difficult to stop the car. And the defect causes the airbags to malfunction and not deploy, depriving car occupants of valuable mitigation if a crash occurs.
Uber and Lyft have strict requirements for how their drivers operate and maintain their cars, all in an attempt to protect rider safety, but these companies do not receive recall information and therefore can’t inform drivers about unaddressed defects. The makers of an app that checks car vehicle identification numbers for recalls have said that it will probably take a serious accident to raise consumer awareness, thus leading ride-sharing companies to post recall notices to all their drivers.
For now, it’s up to the consumer to make sure that cars they step into are safe.
The horrible defect described in many GM cars is responsible for over 120 deaths and countless injuries. With millions of GM cars affected by this problem, it’s wise to avoid riding in these cars.
If you or a family member has been in an accident that may have been caused by a product defect like GM’s faulty ignition switches, contact us at the Alexander Law Group, LLP or call 888.777.1776. All calls are free and confidential.