Multiple moving parts in an automobile means that something could go wrong at any time. When a recall is issued, owners receive notification as to the steps they must take to fix the defect. Some take immediate action. Others procrastinate. Yet, safety is usually prioritized by drivers eventually.
However, entrepreneurs who base their respective business model on access to motor vehicles may put repairs, however minor, at the bottom of their priority list.
A Car Repair Versus a Steady Income
The rideshare industry has experienced massive growth with drivers earning a tidy side income for a few hours of work navigating their passengers from destination to destination. For them, a car equals income. The longer they are without their monetized conveyance, the more money they lose. For them, a recall that involves free repairs is something that can wait, if not an outright inconvenience.
Recently, The Center for Auto Safety strongly suggested that prominent ride-hail companies such as Uber and Lyft should ensure that recalled cars stay off the road until they are fixed or replaced. Their notification follows a Consumer Reports investigation revealed that out of 94,000 Uber and Lyft vehicles based in New York and Seattle, nearly 17 percent had open recalls.
Uber claims to offer help for their “driver-partners” to address recalls, taking proactive steps to ban access to their app for vehicles classified as “Do Not Drive.” However, ride-share companies take deliberate steps to minimize liability, claiming that they only connect passengers to drivers, not vehicles.
A run-of-the-mill consumer can ignore a recall at their own peril. However, if a car’s occupants go beyond that driver and include passengers paying for the ride, repairing the vehicle is paramount. Should a driver ignore the recall, the ride-share company should provide that information to prospective customers and keep the contractor off the road.