Uber leased defective vehicles to drivers in Singapore — one of which caught fire

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Uber is often described as “a dumpster fire,” thanks to its tendency to stumble from one self-inflicted crisis to the next. Now the embattled ride-hail company is having to deal with an actual fire after one of the recalled vehicles it rented to drivers in Singapore recently burst into flames, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Uber bought over 1,000 Honda Vezels with the intention of renting them to drivers last year, the Journal reported. The vehicles were purchased after Honda issued a recall for an electrical component that could overheat and catch fire. In January, one of the Vezels caught fire in Singapore, melting the dashboard and windshield. The driver was unhurt.

According to emails and documents reviewed by the Journal, Uber’s managers in Singapore were aware of the recall when they purchased the defective vehicles. And three days after the fire, the company’s managers in San Francisco were briefed on the incident. They decided to deactivate the faulty devices and leave the cars on the road to wait for replacements.

In a statement to the Journal, Uber said that, after the fire, “We took swift action to fix the problem, in close coordination with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority as well as technical experts. But we acknowledge we could have done more—and we have done so.”

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