It seems like every few weeks we hear about a new vehicle recall. In some ways, our San Francisco vehicle defect lawyer sees this as a good thing because it suggests vigilance on behalf of those issuing and performing recalls. In other ways, it is distressing because it means unsafe vehicles are making it to the market and on to our nation’s roads. When a recall is issued, car owners typically receive a notice in the mail and may also hear about the recall in the media and recognize that it impacts their vehicle. A question has lingered, however — What happens to recalled rental cars?
NHTSA Announces New Law Addressing Recalls and Rental Cars
This month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) issued an important policy announcement involving recalls and rental cars. Effective June 1, rental car agencies are required by law to remedy any and all open safety defects before renting a vehicle to a consumer. This law applies to any company or dealer with more than 35 vehicles in its fleet and makes it illegal for those organizations to rent out an unrepaired recalled vehicle. Additionally, the law gives the NHTSA the power to investigate and punish those who violate this new rule.
According to the press release, the NHTSA has been advocating for this legislation for quite a while and Congress finally passed the needed legislation as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (“FAST Act”). The NHTSA notes that the legislation was championed by a family who lost two daughters in a rental vehicle that had an unrepaired defect. An article from NBC published last year explains that the California sisters were killed in 2004 when the car they’d rented from a major rental agency crashed. While the company initially tried to place blame on the driver, a jury disagreed. The portion of the FAST Act dealing with unrepaired rental vehicles comes from a bill bearing the sisters’ names.
The Importance of Rental Car Safety and a California Law Firm for Rental Car Accident Injuries
According to Auto Rental News, there were more than 2.18 million rental cars in service in 2015. If any of these cars is unsafe, it endangers the occupants of the rental car as well as everyone else on (or, frankly, even near) the road. We are glad to see that the government is taking steps to make the roads safer for renters and for all of us.
If you are involved in an accident involving a recalled rental vehicle (or any other accident caused by a vehicle defect) in the Northern California region, the Brod Law Firm may be able to help you. Our experienced personal injury lawyer works with locals and visitors alike to ensure that the injured receive the compensation they need and deserve. We believe that holding companies and individuals accountable for negligent and reckless behavior not only helps compensate the injured/grieving but also helps prevent future tragedies. Call our rental vehicle accident lawyer in Sonoma, San Francisco, or Oakland by dialing (800) 427-7020 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free consultation.
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(Image courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)