Report: Uber knew cars could catch fire; rented them out anyway

Who is responsible when a defective product causes harm? The answer to that question is not always obvious. For example, consider a vehicle recall that was ignored by ride-hailing giant Uber.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Uber created a company that would rent out Uber-owned cars to drivers. The more than 1,000 cars that Uber bought were defective, though -- there was a risk they could catch fire -- and Uber knew about the defect before buying the cars. 

The Honda Vezels had already been recalled, but Uber bought them anyway.

Being fully aware of the fire risk, Uber bought the cars and did not get them repaired. In fact, Uber's rental agreement described the vehicles as being in "perfect running condition."

That wasn't the case, though, and earlier this year a Honda Vezel burst into flames during an Uber drive in Singapore. According to The Wall Street Journal, an accident report shows a burned dashboard and a broken windshield.

Because Uber knew about the recall, the company's insurance provider refused to cover the damage.

Multiple parties may be liable for injuries caused by defective products.

As we go about our daily lives, it is easy to take for granted that the products we use will be safe. Vehicles, tools, appliances, children's products -- these are all things that we expect not to hurt us as long as we use them properly.

The reality, though, is that dangerous and defective products cause serious injuries each year in New Mexico and across the country. If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a defective product, speak as soon as possible with an experienced product liability attorney. A lawyer can help identify all of the potentially liable parties and help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve.

For more on these matters, please see our recent post, "The basics of product liability."

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