Next time you hop inside a London Black Cab, make sure you buckle up. London Taxis are often considered to be one of the safest, most reliable vehicles on the road, but hundreds of models of the LTI TX4 variety may suffer from a dangerous steering fault that could cause the driver to lose control.
The TX4, one of the most common hackney carriage types in London, is being recalled due to a steering box failure. Acording to theVehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) the vehicle’s steering box could seize, resulting in sudden and unexpected loss of steering control of the vehicle.
The issue was discovered after not one, but two taxi drivers encountered the problem. The flaw was reported to the LTI, who after investigating, confirmed the problem is caused by a circular clip inside the working mechanism of the steering box that is prone to becoming displaced.
LTI is now busy informing taxi drivers of this potential problem with the recommendation they stop using their vehicles. The company has said it intends to supply and fit a refurbished steering box on all affected vehicles ‘as soon as validated parts become available’.
However there’s now reason to suggest the repairs may not go ahead in a timely fashion, if at all. Today LTI’s parent company Manganese Bronze called in administrators, saying crisis talks to save the business have failed. According to a statement, its board of directors has “concluded that the Group is no longer a going concern and has filed notice of intention to appoint administrators.”
The embattled can maker , which has been reported losses since 2008, hopes a deal can be struck with Chinese car maker Geely – it’s second largest shareholder.