Rental Car Agencies Must Fix Recall on Vehicles
It seems like more and more vehicles are being recalled these days. From the GM ignition switch issues to Takata airbag recalls, it seems like every day another recall is announced. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were up to 900 vehicle recalls affecting 51 million vehicles nationwide in 2014.
When you get a notice that your vehicle has a recall, chances are you make an appointment at your mechanic to get the problem fixed. But what about rental cars? Do rental car places have to follow the same procedures?
Well now they do. On June 1, a new law went into effect forcing rental car agencies with fleets greater than 35 vehicles to make sure all safety defects are fixed on a vehicle before renting it out to customers. In addition, the NHTSA’s recall authority has been extended to cover rental car companies for the first time. This means the NHTSA can not only investigate but punish any violators.
For years now, consumer advocacy groups and lawmakers have been calling for a change in the law to hold rental agencies responsible for not fixing a safety recall. For instance, in 2004, two sisters in Santa Cruz, California, were killed when their rental car had caught fire. The car, a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser, had been recalled because of the risk of fire. Since the car had not been repaired, it led to this fatal accident. But now with this legislation, the rental car agency that had loaned out the car, knowing there was a safety recall on the vehicle, can be held responsible for the sisters’ deaths.
Before renting out a car, make sure you know whether the vehicle you are getting has a safety recall on it. Use can use the NTSA’s Recall Look-up Tool to find out whether a vehicle has an open safety recall that needs to be addressed.
If you were in an accident that was the result of a safety defect, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone now for a free consultation.