A recent Consumer Reports study found that 1 in 6 rideshare vehicles has an active safety recall. This means that you are potentially putting yourself and your friends at risk each time you get in an Uber or Lyft. Luckily there are things you can do to make sure you’re safe.
Uber and Lyft: The Potential Danger
Uber and Lyft drivers are currently not required to prove that their vehicle is recall-free before joining either platform. They may need to own a car from the past decade, but this could be loosely enforced.
Over 41 million vehicles in the US have recalled Takata airbags, so it’s very possible that when you get into an Uber or Lyft, you could be riding in one of them. Many of these recalls affect the front passenger airbag, so if you’re taking a Lyft Line or Uber Pool, or splitting a car among 4 friends, the person who sits in the front is at greater risk.
Here are 3 easy things you can do to make sure you’re safe before getting into your next Uber or Lyft.
1. Check the car for a recall before it gets to your location. When you call a car, you get that driver’s license plate number. All you need to do is enter that number and the state (which will probably be the one you are currently in) and you can search using Carma’s free vehicle lookup tool. You can even bookmark your own unique share link so that if you find a recalled, Takata airbag you can get credit for it.
You’ll be able to see if your vehicle has a recall, and exactly which recall it has. If you find that the vehicle has a recall, tell the driver when they arrive. If it’s a dangerous recall, inform the driver, and cancel your ride! Your safety is the most important thing.
2. Verify that the vehicle that arrives matches the license plate and model you see in your app. Never get into a car if the information is different. And if you haven’t already checked for recalls, you can also snap a photo of the driver’s license plate and use that to check their vehicle as soon as it arrives.
Again, if you find a recall, tell the driver about it. If they drive an eligible Takata vehicle and get it fixed, you could even get $55, just for searching and letting them know.
3. Verify the driver’s name, and make sure they say yours. Confirm that your driver is the person who is registered with Uber and Lyft, so you can make sure you are in the right car with the right driver.
Lastly, if you or anyone you know drives for a rideshare company, encourage them to check their vehicles. This way, you can help make sure that they, and anyone who gets in their car will be safe.