For those of you who have been watching the news, you should be aware of the recent coverage that certain taxi drivers have claimed that Proton taxis are inferior in quality. Delivery Special Sdn Bhd, an official dealer for Proton taxi models held a small press conference to clear matters up.
According to Delivery Special, they have claimed that the taxi fleet that they own has no major problems, only small solvable problems. Also, they added that the problems are caused by issues rising from maintenance, rather than a lack of quality. Issues from maintenance you ask? Read on.
Taxi drivers are known to drive quite a substantial amount of distance a day, so it comes as no surprise if a taxi driver can cover upwards 300 km in a single day. Thus in a month, taxis can rack-up almost 9,000 km in mileage! With taxi drivers’ tight schedules, it does not come as a surprise that many taxi drivers miss out on the maintenance schedule, thus dragging their next service to a later date.
Apart from that, some taxi drivers choose not to service their taxis at the proper service centre, and that could cause further damage. Non-authorized service centres may provide the wrong type of spark plug, which can have a negative effect on engine performance. In an effort to save money, some taxi drivers use reconditioned engine oils for their taxis. This has a very detrimental effect on the longevity of modern day engines, as tolerance levels are significantly lower than engines from the 1980s.
With taxis having a regular petrol tank and a NGV tank, many taxi drivers drive till the petrol tank is empty before refuelling up. When done repeatedly, the fuel pump will be damaged. A Delivery Special spokesperson said that it’s better that the taxis refuel their petrol tanks at the halfway mark to prevent fuel pump damage.
As for the amount of taxis lying idle at Delivery Special Sdn Bhd’s compound, they explained that because of the way loans are designed for taxi drivers makes it hard for them to own one. For example, the down payment for regular cars are set at 10%, but for taxis, the down payment is set at 15%. Furthermore, credit rating for many taxi drivers are far from ideal, which has prompted Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to tighten loan approvals.
Speaking to a taxi driver today, he shared similar sentiments as the other taxi drivers. He mentioned to me that he has replaced his engine head twice, both within a very close time frame. The cost of the engine head was almost RM3,000, and the car was in the workshop for quite a while. While this is certainly a one-sided story from the taxi driver himself, we do wonder if he did follow Proton’s maintenance schedule for high mileage vehicles.