Rideshares, Recalls, and Risks for Riders

Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services are expanding rapidly across the country. However, the rapid expansion of these services does not mean these rides are safe for passengers. Recent studies by Consumer Reports indicate that as many as one in every six ridesharing vehicles has an open safety recall. This makes for a risky ride for passengers who can suffer serious injuries caused by a defective product they have no knowledge of.

Understanding the Risks of Rideshares

As of January 2017, Lyft had provided more than 160 million rides, and Uber had provided more than 5 billion rides worldwide. These services are becoming a staple transportation option in San Antonio. Nationwide, it's estimated that 2-3% of all motor vehicle accidents involve rideshare operators. As these services grow in scope and popularity, there are also indications that the presence of rideshare services in a city can cause motor vehicle accident and fatality rates to rise by 2-3% as well.

Recalls and Rideshares

Since 2011, the rate of vehicle recalls in the US has risen significantly. Some, such as the Takata airbag recall in 2016, and the earlier Firestone tire recall of 2000 received considerable media attention. These defective product recalls cost many lives and caused many injuries.

However, there are many other recalls that receive far less attention. The 2011 recall of Mercedes Benz vehicles that leaked diesel fuel and BMW's 2016 recall over defective child seat anchors barely garnered a whisper of coverage. Most recently, Ford's recall of 550,00 trucks and SUV's over defective seat backs that don't restrain passengers in crashes is only now starting to gain attention.

The reality is that unless a recall gets significant media attention, rideshare passengers are unaware of most defective product problems on the cars they ride in. Further, unlike taxi and limousine services, there are lax and limited regulations governing the rideshare industry. This means that required inspections and safety checks don't force drivers to correct these problems. As a result, many operate their vehicles without fixing known safety hazards that can put themselves, other motorists, and their passengers in danger. In a very real sense, riders are riding rideshares at their own risk.

Contact Welmaker Law Firm at (726) 666-6666 for more information about defective product claims. We can help you navigate your options and pursue compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of a rideshare driver or vehicle manufacturer.