Five hundred Russian-made 16-seater minibus taxis are being recalled for the fourth time since March last year due to mechanical problems, the Sunday Times
reported on Saturday.
The "Gazelles" were built as part of the government's R7,7-billion taxi-recapitalisation programme and were approved by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).
Outgoing GAZ SA managing director Terry Gregory said the windscreen sealant, gear boxes, hoses and pumps had collapsed because of the hot conditions in South Africa, and that thermostats and engines failed because they had been set for a cold climate.
Theuns Blom, senior manager of the SABS's automotive regulatory department said the Gazelle had undergone internationally-accepted tests, but that they were conducted on only one vehicle.
Such tests would not necessarily detect potential hazards such as metal fatigue, mechanical problems and weak rims.