Fix First, Then Rent: NHTSA To Oversee Recalls Of Rental Vehicles?

Concern that rental car companies are putting dangerous vehicles on the road after failing to heed federal safety recalls has inspired calls from safety advocates for increased oversight of the industry. According to a recent article in USA Today, even industry giant Hertz is joining the call for oversight of rental companies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Different Rules For Rental Car Companies 

Automobile manufacturers and new car dealers cannot sell recalled automobiles until they certify that they have fixed the problem, but this aspect of federal law does not apply to rentals or sales by rent-a-car companies. Auto safety experts have suggested that NHTSA's supervision of federal recalls be extended to the vehicle rental industry, which is the largest consumer of new cars in the U.S. and the primary source of inventory for buyers of used vehicles.

A Hertz official has stated that the nation's second-largest car rental company welcomes the oversight because such a measure would parallel the company's current policy of not renting until recall repairs are performed. Avis, the next biggest competitor, has voiced opposition however, because the legislation singles out rental car companies while ignoring taxi and limousine businesses.

Industry leader Enterprise initially opposed the measure, but changed its position after considering safety advocate Cally Houck's grassroots call for the company to endorse NHTSA oversight, which gathered 100,000 supporters in its first day. Houck's daughters were killed in a 2004 car accident which involved a recalled Chrysler PT Cruiser that caught fire, resulting in a $15 million jury award against Enterprise for failure to fix the problem.

Who is Responsible for Auto Defects Which Cause Injuries and Death?

Car and truck accidents caused by defective parts or unsafe vehicle designs can involve many different circumstances. Tire blowouts, SUVs that are likely to roll over and accelerator mechanisms that stick are all frightening examples of sudden events which can cause personal injuries and wrongful deaths.

The more serious and debilitating the injuries suffered, the more important it is to ensure that all potentially liable parties are held accountable. By investigating all aspects of a crash, from faulty maintenance to inadequate safety restraints or defective brakes, an experienced personal injury can help clients pursue sufficient compensation for the harm that they have suffered.

We Can Help

Contact the experienced Fairfax auto and personal injury lawyers of Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC to schedule your free consultation at 703-691-8333.