Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced that private-hire car service operator Uber has fixed all 1220 defective Honda Vezels in its Singapore fleet, that were prone to overheating and catching fire due to a faulty electrical component.
This rectification comes just two weeks after a damning Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report emerged in early August suggesting that Uber Singapore knowingly bought and leased over 1000 Honda Vezels to its drivers, even after the model was recalled by Honda on 4 April 2016, in what appears to be a reckless effort to cut costs.
WSJ claims that it had access to documents showing that Uber knew that the cars came with a fire risk and that the organisation chose to purchase the vehicles two days after deciding that it would cost 12 per cent less to buy the cars from an unauthorised dealer.
LTA announced yesterday that Uber has replaced the defective parts in all the faulty vehicles, stating that “all of Lion City Rental’s Honda Vezels have been rectified.”
It, however, remains unclear how Uber fixed over 1000 vehicles in such a short time.
It is also curious that the LTA is only making this statement now since Uber has been claiming that it fixed all of its faulty cars, almost immediately after the WSJ story broke two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, only 25% of all Honda Vezels in Singapore had been fixed two weeks ago, while that number rose to 40% of all such vehicles here being fixed this Wednesday.
The Honda Vezel defect might result in terrible consequences for drivers if it is driven without being fixed.
In January 2017, a defective Vezel actually caught on fire, boring a football-sized hole in the windshield and melting the dashboard. Uber had leased the car to Mr Koh Seng Tian who, thankfully, was not ferrying passengers at the time of the incident and escaped the car without injury himself.
WSJ disturbingly reported that in spite of the scary fire in Mr Koh’s leased vehicle, all of Uber’s defective Vezels were still being leased to drivers as of January 2017.