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Consumer Reports: Before You Take A Vacation – Check Your Car For Vehicle Recall

Whether you are going to your favorite national park, the beach or across town, you need to check your vehicle for recalls

1 in 6 Uber and Lyft Cars Have Open Safety Recalls, Consumer Reports’ Study Suggests
CR’s review of 94,000 vehicle records in New York City and Seattle area shows companies do little to address open recalls

If you are ride-sharing or taking your own car to visit your favorite national park, say Mt. Rainier, check your vehicle recall status before you go.

Consider that the people who use their own cars for a living aren’t aware about car recalls, are you?

It goes further – a taxi or limousine isn’t necessarily a safer option: In New York City almost 25% of taxis, limousines and livery cabs also require repairs due to outstanding recalls, Consumer Reports said.

That means that many of the cars people jump into using the most popular ride-hailing apps have outstanding issues that the drivers may not know about and they definitely haven’t been fixed. This includes faulty airbags, possible engine failure, and potential car fires.

Consumer Reports analyzed nearly 94,000 ride-hailing vehicles in the New York City and Seattle areas and about 30,000 traditional for-hire vehicles including taxis and limousines in New York City.

Check your vehicle recall status here.

CR’s review also found that:

About 1 in 6: Of the 93,958 vehicle identification numbers (VINs) associated with ride-hailing vehicles in New York City and King County, Wash., that CR examined, 15,175, or 16.2 percent, had one or more open safety recalls. (Because ride-hailing drivers can work for more than one company, we grouped results together for vehicles associated with Uber, Lyft, and, for New York, smaller competitors Juno and Via.)

Takata Air Bag Recalls: A number of vehicles have outstanding recalls associated with numerous deaths, such as faulty airbags made by Japanese car-parts manufacturer Takata. Those airbags have been linked to 24 deaths across the world, including 16 in the U.S., and remain in 1,274 of the vehicles cited in CR’s review, about 1.4 percent of the total.

Problem Vehicles: Some vehicles had a significant number of open safety recalls: 25 vehicles in the Seattle area and NYC had at least five or more unfixed recalls.

On a par with all private vehicles: The Uber and Lyft vehicles we looked at are about on a par with all personal vehicles on the road. Our analysis also found the open recall rate for some other for-hire vehicle services in NYC to be slightly higher. CR reviewed more than 32,000 VINs affiliated with for-hire vehicles, such as traditional taxis, limos, and liveries, and found the open recall rate for that group to be 23.6 percent.

Older Cars: The ride-hailing companies both have varying standards for vehicle eligibility, depending on the city or type of service, but there appear to be slips in enforcing the rules. In Seattle, for example, Uber and Lyft currently say vehicles should be no more than a decade old. But CR’s review of records from King County found more than 40 cars licensed to operate there with a listed vehicle model year of 2007 or older. Uber says under King County regulations enacted in March, permits will no longer be issued to drivers with vehicles more than a decade old. Lyft says it considers any vehicle with a current window decal that’s legally needed to drive as valid to operate on its platform.

Up To The Drivers: Uber and Lyft take only minor steps to ensure open recalls are addressed, leaving the onus primarily on drivers.

National Park By State
Acadia National Park Maine
Arches National Park Utah
Badlands National Park South Dakota
Big Bend National Park Texas
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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Colorado
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Canyonlands National Park Utah
Capitol Reef National Park Utah
Carlsbad Caverns National Park New Mexico
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Congaree National Park South Carolina
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Death Valley National Park California
Denali National Park and Preserve Alaska
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Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Isle Royale National Park Michigan
Joshua Tree National Park California
Katmai National Park and Preserve Alaska
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Kings Canyon National Park California
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Lake Clark National Park Alaska
Lassen Volcanic National Park California
Mammoth Cave National Park Kentucky
Mesa Verde National Park Colorado
Mount Rainier National Park Washington
National Park of American Samoa American Samoa
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Olympic National Park Washington
Petrified Forest National Park Arizona
Redwood National Park California
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Sequoia National Park California
Shenandoah National Park Virginia
Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Dakota
Virgin Islands National Park United States Virgin Islands
Voyageurs National Park Minnesota
Wind Cave National Park South Dakota
Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve Alaska
Yellowstone National Park Wyoming
Yosemite National Park California
Zion National Park Utah