February 2014


Euro4 RWS

The long awaited rear wheel steering upgrade for the Euro4s is at last underway and the first batch of our members with the worst problem cabs have had the first phase of that upgrade fitted. But with everything associated with our cabs, bad new seams to very quickly follow any good news. There is an acute shortage of new actuators coming from the USA and many of the dealerships are reporting little or no stock. We have been assured that this is only a temporary hiccup and replacement parts will be with the dealerships very soon. Cold comfort to any of our members that are about to re licence their cabs. If you are unlucky enough to be one of those owners, we recommend that you contact your garage before leaving your cab with them to check if they have actuators in stock. It’s common practice for Mercedes dealerships take in vehicles even if they do not have all the parts required as they traditionally rely on overnight supply’s from Milton Keynes.

If you get no joy from your garage, give us a call, no promises mind you, but if you are desperate, we can often help.

No firm date as yet on the next phase of the RWS upgrade to Euro5s.

License Renewal

February is proving to be one of the worst months for weather that I can remember, making our job the much harder, but the biggest threat to our livelihood is the ever increasing number of mini cabs and unlicensed cars in London. But the most immediate and relevant threat to you and I is our own licensing authority TFL. Every day we are hearing the same story, you can’t talk to them, they do not respond to letters or emails and you can’t visit them. We have spoken to many drivers that have tried to contact them and are unable to work because their license renewal application has not been granted by the CRB who are now taking in excess of 3 months to process. Don’t let this happen to you, get your application in early.

If you are getting no response from TFL, write a letter to Boris Johnston or your own MP as this seems to get some kind of dialogue going and highlights our predicament.

Vito Taxi Club Membership Card

In the next couple of weeks you will be receiving a Vito Taxi Club membership card that will give you access to the many deals and services we have negotiated for the club.

Mercedes Benz Parts Club

We are pleased to announce the introduction of a Mercedes Benz parts club. Together with Mercedes Benz UK we have negotiated discounts of up to 70% on genuine Mercedes parts. This deal is for Vito Taxi Club members only and not open to the general public. At present, we have two central London pick up points. Mercedes Benz Chelsea (on the southern side of Wandsworth bridge) and Mercedes Benz Colindale. We are hoping to add additional convenient pick up points in the near future.

To place a parts order, we have been given an exclusive direct number at the Mercedes Benz call centre ( see contacts below) and you will be able to state which pick up point is convenient for you to collect your parts. In addition to Mercedes parts, you will have access to all Penso parts by the same method. Please note that Mercedes Chelsea do not carry any commercial parts but they receive two deliveries a day so provided you get you order in by lunchtime, you can pick it up in the afternoon on production of your Vito Taxi Club membership card. There is also substantial discounts on Mercedes car parts.

Documentary Evidence of Repairs

Some of you may remember that when we first tackled Mercedes Benz about the problems we were experiencing with our rear wheel steering, they seemed to be unaware of the extent of the malfunction. This proved to be the case as they themselves were not getting the feedback from their dealerships because the parts breaking down were not Mercedes Benz parts. It was only our intervention that alerted them to the true nature of the problem.

This lack of communication with their dealerships had another knock on effect. They were being asked to honour repair work done on rear wheel steering repairs that were still breaking down on vehicles that were out of warranty. Because they had no computer record or paper trail of the work carried out, they were rejecting any claims to work done on these vehicles. After many months of negotiations with Mercedes Benz they agreed that there was an inherent fault and they would oversee the redesign and replacement of the faulty components. This upgrade is now in progress.

The reason I mention this now is to make you aware of the absolute need for paper evidence of the work you have done to your cab. Please, please get a print out every time you go the garage, partially if you are still in warranty. Every part fitted to you cab carries a guarantee of minimum durability or a date of expiry. Without proof of what or when you had a component changed defines whether or not you can make a claim if it goes wrong. Please do not be fobbed of by a dealerships saying that they don’t have to give you a print out on worked done under warranty, they do if you request it. This was one of the agreements we negotiated with Mercedes Benz.

New Website

Our own website is well on the way to being finalised. It will be regularly updated and accessible to all and will contain information on the club, help and advice, useful contacts etc. We are also looking into the feasibility of a section for buying and selling you cabs and a comments page. If you have any suggestions for additional content, please give us a call.

Membership Fee

The membership fee for 2014 is set at £50 for the year which will become due on your next renewal.