Uber has had a growing public image problem for most of the year. Now, one of its cars has literally gone up in flames.
Uber Singapore bought more than 1,000 Honda Vezels to rent to its drivers in the country — after Honda recalled the car in 2016 due to an electrical component fault that was a fire hazard, reports The Wall Street Journal.
At least one driver, Koh Seng Tian, had a fire breakout in his car. Thankfully, The Journal reports, he walked away from the January incident without injury.
“As soon as we learned of a Honda Vezel from the Lion City Rental fleet catching fire, we took swift action to fix the problem, in close coordination with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority as well as technical experts,” Uber said to CNET in a statement. “But we acknowledge we could have done more — and we have done so.”
Uber has established “robust protocols” and hired three experts “to ensure we are fully responsive to safety recalls,” the statement said.
Uber employees in Singapore knew about the Vezels’ recall before they purchased the fleet of cars, according to The Journal, which cited internal documents it obtained. After flames broke out in Koh’s vehicle, Singapore’s Uber management contacted the Silicon Valley HQ, saying it would deactivate the defective component, leave the cars on the road and await replacement parts.
In a year full of tumult for Uber, the company is looking for a replacement CEO after co-founder Travis Kalanick was forced to step down in June. His resignation came amid a wave of scandals including former US Attorney General Eric Holder conducting an investigation into claims of sexual harassment. Holder’s investigation resulted in a report that recommended “changes to senior leadership.”