Published: May 2013

Rental companies should put consumer safety first

While current law prohibits car dealerships from selling recalled vehicles to consumers, no law bans rental car companies from doing the same or renting them to unsuspecting consumers. The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013 would keep unsafe rental cars that have been recalled off the road.

Consumer Action supports the Safe Rental Car Act of 2013, along with coalition organizations and all the major rental car companies and the American Car Rental Association. Getting unsafe vehicles off the road is integral to improving safety and saving lives. This is why current law requires manufacturers to recall vehicles that have safety-related defects or do not meet federal safety standards. Current law also prohibits auto dealers from selling a new car under recall unless the defect has been remedied. The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013 would, for the first time, hold rental companies to the same standard as auto dealers. Specifically, the bill:

· Prohibits rental or sale of vehicles subject to a safety recall

· Requires rental companies to ground vehicles under a safety recall

· Permits rental companies to continue to rent recalled vehicles if recall measures are not put in place but must ground and repair the vehicle once parts become available

· Ensures the NHTSA will have authority to investigate and police rental companies' recall safety practices

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced legislation that would ban car rental companies from allowing consumers to rent or sell vehicles that are under manufacturer recall.

“Our goals for this legislation are twofold—to protect families, and to prevent undue burdens for employers—and this agreement succeeds on both fronts,” said Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, which will hold a hearing on the legislation later this month. “Neither side got everything they wanted, but by everybody giving a little, we’re getting a lot—and that’s what compromise is all about.”

Lead Organization

Consumers for Auto Reliabiity and Safety (CARS)

Other Organizations

Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety | Center for Auto Safety | Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety | Consumer Action | Consumers Union | Consumer Federation of America | National Association of Consumer Advocates | Injury Control Policy, Trauma Foundation

More Information

For more information please visit the CARS website.

Download PDF

Rental companies should put consumer safety first   (TheRaechelandJacquelineHouckAct.pdf)

 
 

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