Taxi fault recall leaves Redbridge black cab drivers out of pocket

“If you cannot drive a cab then you cannot go to work” is the stark reality for numerous black cab drivers who had their vehicles recalled, according to one man.

Cab manufacturer Manganese Bronze Holdings has called in the administrators after last ditch efforts to save the company failed.

Earlier this month about 400 taxis were recalled by the company after a fault was found with the cabs’ steering boxes.

It is unclear whether drivers will be compensated for lost earnings.

Alan Fisher, editor of industry magazine Call Sign, said the company’s collapse would impact on Redbridge – which has a high number of cabbies resident.

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He said: “If you cannot drive a cab then you cannot go to work, there’s nothing in between. Some drivers are sharing their cabs with friends, others are trying to find cabs for rent.”

Mr Fisher, of Hornchurch, said that after a couple of the TX4 models were found to be faulty, the company recalled 413 taxis, most of which were from drivers in London.

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“The year’s been quiet and the Olympics was dead,” he said. “We’re now coming up to Christmas and it was a chance to recoup lost money, but if you have no taxi to work with then it’s a forlorn hope I’m afraid.”

Manganese Bronze Holdings was the original manufacturer of the black cab, although a version is also now made by Mercedes.

Cabbie Martin Hizer, 47, of Little Heath, said: “I’m not being a traditionalist but the Mercedes is not really the best vehicle as when people come to London they want a traditional taxi ride.”

Despite the gloom, Mr Hizer says he does not think the era of black cabs will be coming to an end. He said: “Someone will come along and buy it. There’s going to be lots of claims by drivers for lost work but as the company is in administration they might not get it back.”

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