Uber’s latest embarrassing news involves fire-prone cars. The ride-hailing startup acknowledged that it provided faulty cars to drivers in Singapore even though the vehicles had been recalled months before over a defect that could cause them to catch fire.
Uber said in a statement on Friday that it moved to address the issue but only after one of its cars burst into flames.
“Uber managers in Singapore knowingly bought more than 1,000 recalled Honda Vezels and rented them to drivers in Singapore without the necessary repairs,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
“As soon as we learned of a Honda Vezel 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 in a statement to CNNMoney. “But we acknowledge we could have done more and we have done so.”
An Uber spokesperson declined to comment on when executives became aware of the fire risk.
The company’s admission of its inadequacy in Singapore comes as it tries to recover from months of crisis that concluded with the resignation of its CEO Travis Kalanick over six weeks ago. The firm was hit by criticism over its handling of sexual harassment allegations and the departures of numerous top executives.
Andrew Macdonald, Uber’s top executive in Asia and Latin America, said last month “the firm is experiencing an evolution in its management approach. He told CNNMoney, “we’re not at a scale where we’re a startup anymore.”
The safety crisis in Singapore erupted in January when an Uber driver’s Honda Vezel caught fire just after he dropped off a passenger, according to the report. The blaze melted the car’s dashboard and punctured its windshield, but the driver and the passenger emerged unhurt.
Honda recalled tens of thousands of Honda Vezels in April 2016 due to the risk of an electrical part catching fire. The Wall Street Journal reported that Uber was notified about the recall the following month but continued to buy the damaged vehicles and rent them out.
Following the fire in January, Uber had all the affected Vezels repaired, the company spokesman said.