According to a press release by taxi operator Trans-Cab yesterday (May 25), 80 of its compressed natural gas (CNG) powered taxi vehicles failed safety inspections by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). The LTA called for a nation-wide inspection on all CNG vehicles in response to two Toyota Wish Trans-Cab CNG-powered taxis caught fire in the past month, with one of them caught on video dramatically exploding and injuring a firefighter.
A Trans-Cab spokesperson said that 80 of the taxi vehicles which failed the test will be scrapped. Although the taxi operator did not specify the financial loss, this is estimated at at least S$3.2 million. The only other taxi operator affected is Yellow-Cab, where two failed the safety inspection.
The number of CNG vehicles in Singapore have declined significantly from 2,706 to only 1,650, or less than 1% of the total vehicle population, in the past seven years. The Singapore made a mistake in their initial introduction of CNG vehicles in the early 2010s, believing that CNG fuel are environmentally cleaner than the mainstream vehicle petrol and gave generous rebates for CNG fuel. After realising their mistake, the government rolled back on the rebates for CNG fuel.