The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into how rental car companies deal with manufacturer recalls. It is specifically looking into whether or not rental car companies are properly fixing vehicles that have been recalled before renting or selling them and whether those repairs are being done promptly. Currently, there is no law in place that requires rental agencies to perform recall repairs before renting vehicles to customers. But the head of one consumer advocacy group is hoping that changes.
As surprising as it is, but no law currently exists that specifically prevents such a practice, according to the president of the American Car Rental Association. However, Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) says that the Federal Trade Commission Act states that companies “shall not engage in unfair trade practices. And, not repairing a defective vehicle after it has been recalled, before renting it out, is an unfair trade practice, and is a violation of the act.”
The NHTSA probe will look at almost 3 million General Motors, Ford and Chrysler vehicles -- covering 29 different models, and spanning model years 2001 through 2010 -- that were sold to rental car companies, and were subsequently recalled. Why just the Detroit Three? The American carmakers are the top providers of vehicles to rental car companies.
Ditlow says he would like to see the investigation lead to a more detailed law that specifically addresses this practice. There have been cases where rental car companies have been accused of being at fault in deaths occuring from this problem.
Read the entire article here by Kevin Ransom