Uber leased defective cars, knowingly, to drivers in Singapore

Rented but recalled Uber car bursts into flames in Singapore, report says

The Vezel is sold as the Honda HR-V in the United States.

Eventually, Uber did request drivers of affected Vezels to take their vehicle to a fix shop to get the faulty part deactivated, a move that it believed would reduce the potential for danger but one that was not approved by Honda itself. But Uber had problems finding enough drivers to fill demand, the WSJ reports. Uber managers in Singapore were not aware of the recall when they bought the vehicles, the report said.

The safety crisis in Singapore erupted in January when an Uber driver's Honda Vezel caught fire just after he had dropped a passenger off, according to the Journal's report. Eventually flames spewed from the dashboard, melting the interior and cracking a large hole in the windshield. He said that by law, a auto dealer has to participate in a recall by replacing any defective parts.

Singapore's Land Transport Authority didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the safety problems with the Uber rental cars.

Chan Park, another Singapore manager, agreed with Tseng, saying that "leaving cars on the road "feels like low risk", [and] the recall happened nine months ago". These vehicles were then rented out to Uber drivers through an Uber-owned company called Lion City Rentals.

Uber now says all the faulty vehicles have been fixed; that it is only buying from authorized dealers; and that it has implemented a new recall protocol.

There was talk of taking the cars off the road, but Singapore's general manager said that would cost 1.4 million Singapore dollars a week. Despite the recall, the company went ahead and bought 1,000 of the SUVs and rented them out.

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However, as compared to buying vehicles from authorised Honda and Toyota dealers, Uber filled up their fleet with smaller importers, who apparently operate in a 'grey market' - "a legal channel outside manufacturers' authorised networks - where safety, service and legal contracts are hard to enforce". "LTA is working with Lion City Rentals on the rectification for the remaining vehicles", a spokesperson for LTA said.

In August, Sunrita emailed Uber that their replacement parts fell short.

Even after the fire in January, Uber chose to leave the vehicles on the road, emails show.

The email invitation joked that transportation for the meal "might be in a Vezel". A plan went into action that involved deactivating the faulty part.

Should The Rest Of Us Be Worried?

Some of those cars were the faulty Vezels. "So you should buy from a reputable dealer".

Vincent Tan, managing director of VinCar, one of Singapore's biggest parallel importers, said that despite regular reports of PI salesmen running off with customer deposits and PI operations going out of business, it is still safe to buy a parallel import.

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