This notice is issued further to TPH Notices 17/12 and 19/12 regarding the manufacturer/VOSA recall and subsequent suspension by Transport for London (TfL) of the licences of late model TX4 taxis affected by a steering box fault. It also provides information related to the announcement on Monday 22 October that Manganese Bronze and the London Taxi Company would be entering administration.
Since the recall announcement, TfL has been in constant dialogue with the London Taxi Company (LTC) and the administrator to understand the technical nature of the recall, the steps that LTC are taking to identify and implement a solution and the impact of the decision to enter administration.
TfL’s priority is, and will remain, ensuring the safety of drivers, passengers and other road users and assisting drivers where possible affected by the recall.
The current position is as follows:
440 taxis in the UK are affected by the steering box fault and recall. Of these 316 are TfL licensed taxis.
A full list of the affected taxis as provided to TfL is attached as Annex A. This includes an additional 13 taxis which were not listed in TPH Notice 17/12 but which were subsequently found to have been affected by the recall.
The recall is due to a serious fault in the steering box and therefore the affected taxis must not be used under any circumstances.
While the recall has been described as “voluntary” this does not make it any less serious or imply that drivers/owners should not comply with the recall. The licence of every one of the 316 licensed taxis was immediately suspended by TfL and remain suspended at this time.
Where TfL identify any of the 316 affected taxis being used in any circumstances then the taxi vehicle licence plates will be removed immediately.
Only LTC have been given permission to temporarily license Euro IV taxis which have not been previously licensed in London, and these taxis are only for use by drivers directly affected by the TX4 recall.
Drivers and other taxi proprietors and garages are not permitted to license Euro III and Euro IV taxis which have not been previously licensed in London.
Any solution to the steering box fault and replacement must have the full approval of the vehicle manufacturer, LTC and VOSA – TfL will work with and support garages who believe they have a solution, however any solution proposed must have LTC and VOSA approval.
Work should not be carried out on taxis until any engineering solution has been appropriately tested and approval has been granted by LTC and VOSA and then authorised by TfL.
TfL has had regular contact with the administrators & LTC management and have expressed our concern at the delays in providing replacement taxis and the provision of inconsistent and/or lack of information to impacted drivers.
As well as being in constant dialogue with LTC, TfL has also contacted KPM who have assured us that they have a significant number of taxis in stock and have committed to assisting drivers affected by the recall any way they can.
At present there is no intention to relax the age-limits for taxis in London which are still in force. This decision will be kept under review as the situation develops.
TfL appreciates that taxi drivers and the trade in general are concerned and worried by recent events. We will endeavour to provide regular updates and inform you of any changes as and when they arise.
Further information and guidance visit the LTC website at london-taxis.co.uk, call the LTC Customer Support line on 02476 572000, contact TfL by emailing TPHEnquiries@tfl.gov.uk or contact your driver association.