VW hasn't built the classic Beetle since 2003, the same year that Mexico City began requiring that taxi operators switch to four-door vehicles. The last Bugs that entered service as cabs back in 2002 have already been given two extra years of service compared to most taxis, according to the report.
The cabs are considered particularly dangerous, not just because they are essentially 74-year-old cars, but also because cab drivers generally remove the front passenger seat to facilitate access to the cramped rear quarters of the Beetle. But the cars are cheap to operate and according to one former Mexico City cabbie, help make the streets safer.
"Today the cars are bigger, and they drive faster," Vera Perez told the AP, "Before, they drove more cautiously, because any accident would destroy them."