Honda has flat out denied the request, stating that it never designed the cars to serve as taxis and Toyota has so far chosen not to respond. Automakers like Nissan, Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors have suggested that it's not their responsibility to ensure the safety of a modified vehicle. Because the city of New York requires a partition between the passengers and the driver, the car's inherent safety and safety features may be compromised. Note, this has nothing to do with the hybrid drivetrain of any specific vehicle. Perhaps a dedicated vehicle would be best. It will definitely be interesting to watch how this plays out, as New York Mayor Bloomberg announced that the entire fleet would become hybridized by 2012. We'll see.
[Source: Huffington Post]