Sudden acceleration in Hyundai cabs: 3 accidents, same cause?
LTA is investigating a phenomenon known as 'sudden unintended acceleration' in Hyundai cars. It may have caused a spate of accidents involving taxis here.CHERYL YING (email@example.com) delves into some previous cases
MARCH 30, 2016
Madam Poh Ah Gin, 78, was killed by a reversing Comfort taxi. The woman, who had been collecting cardboard to recycle, was hit twice.
Reports noted that the Hyundai Sonata was reversing into a parking lot when the vehicle suddenly rolled backwards, mounted the kerb and hit Madam Poh.
Mr Lim Kah Kong, 35, a tow truck driver, told The Straits Times Online that he shouted at the taxi driver to stop when he saw that Madam Poh had been hit.
"But his car continued to lunge back and forth, and he hit her again," he said.
The cabby's son, known only as Sam, said his father was an experienced driver with no past traffic offences.
"He repeatedly told me that there was something wrong with the cab," he said. "But there's nothing we can do about it now."
MARCH 17, 2016
A Comfort cab caused a chain collision at Block 702, Bedok Reservoir Road.
The cab was trying to reverse into a parking lot when it surged forward instead, hitting a red car.
The impact caused the red car to scrape the side of a blue lorry beside it, before mounting a kerb and hitting the front of a white lorry on the other side of the car park.
The taxi reversed into the void deck of Block 702, nearly colliding with three teenagers who were there.
Except for the taxi, the three other vehicles were parked.
Madam Sandy Goh, 48, a volunteer at the neighbourhood's Senior Care Corner, rushed to the scene after receiving a flurry of calls from senior citizens about the accident.
She said the taxi driver seemed to have escaped injury.
"He looked quite confused. I heard the police officer asking him what had happened, but he said he didn't know," she said.
DEC 25, 2009
In 2011, a cabby was fined $800 for hitting four pedestrians and crashing into a 7-Eleven store.
The cabby was in the taxi queue at the Tiong Bahru Plaza when his Hyundai Sonata suddenly surged forward.
He ran into a man and three women, before crashing into the entrance of the 7-Eleven store.
His defence counsel said it was his client's first time driving the Hyundai cab. He was not used to the sudden burst of speed when the accelerator was pressed suddenly.
The court heard that as the cabby was moving forward in the taxi queue, some pedestrians stepped off the kerb. They seemed to be in the path of his taxi.
Instead of hitting the brakes, his foot slipped and he stepped on the accelerator.