Published on Friday, June 3, 2016

Rental car recall law now effective

Rental car agencies are banned from offering vehicles that have been officially recalled due to defects under a new federal law that took effect Wednesday.
Surprisingly, there was no law requiring car rental firms to fix all open safety defects prior to returning a car to its fleet.
Safe Rental Car Act was passed as part of the Highway Bill and requires all companies with more than 35 vehicles to complete repairs before renting out vehicles to customers.
"When a family picks up a rental car on vacation, they should be able to expect it is free of any known safety defect. I thank Congress and the safety advocates who helped turn this common-sense idea into law," said US secretary of transportation Anthony Foxx.
The legislation came about thanks to lobbying by the family of sisters Raechel and Jacqueline Houck which died in an accident driving a rental car that had been under a safety recall but not repaired.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said there were nearly 900 recalls affecting more than 50 million vehicles in 2004.
"It's critical that every recalled vehicle, whether new, used, rented, or leased, is repaired as soon as possible. Rental agencies operate some of the largest fleets, so this law will go a long way in ensuring the cars and trucks on the road are safe," said NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind.
Large rental firms like Enterprise, Hertz and Avis Budget had already changed policy to comply with the law before it went into effect, according to Sharon Faulkner, executive director of the American Car Rental Association.
However many smaller independents had not, she said, even those the cost of repairs is the responsibility of the automakers in most cases.

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