Did this steering box from a new supplier have to undergo rigorous road testing or have to provide assurances with it from its manufacturers as to the efficacy and safety of this vital component?
One wonders how a defective component on one of the most important parts for the vehicle’s safety cannot be identified prior to it being part of the vehicle’s production.
It seems that the defect has manifested itself quite early in the life of some vehicles and it also seems quite incredible that this was not picked up by those whose job it is to subject London’s taxis to safety inspections/tests.
A lot of questions need to be asked about how this serious matter has been allowed to develop and it is indeed fortunate that no-one has been injured or killed.
It is not inspiring any confidence to public safety or to the credibility of the manufacturers if it was known that a serious problem existed and the vehicle was still being sold to unwitting customers. As has already been pointed out, this in itself is a very serious matter.
If financial considerations were taking priority over the safety of the driver, the vehicle, the passengers and other road users, then someone has got a lot of explaining to do. We have a Licensing Authority whose job (statutory duty) it is to prevent any of this from happening, hopefully BEFORE the defects manifest themselves.
To protect the integrity of us being recognised as the ‘best taxi service in the world’ this matter should be thoroughly investigated to ensure that it can never happen again. It is not a good advert for the so-called ‘icon’ that so many people call our vehicles.
We may have an iconic shape to our vehicles but a London taxi has to have more to it, rather than just an aesthetic shape. It has to be robust, reliable, safe, value for money and most important of all ‘Fit for purpose’.
What a disaster this is for our trade, but it has to be determined how it all came to pass. This is one occasion where the drivers cannot be blamed for the problems.
In this case we cannot be blamed for “not driving them properly”, It was most certainly a characteristic of their design