When a car is recalled, it may seem like common sense that everyone would stop driving that vehicle. Unfortunately, sometimes people don’t have a choice because they are given a recalled car without being told of the risk. How does this happen? The drivers rent a car and are given a rental vehicle that has been recalled.
Unfortunately, this problem is far more common than anyone would imagine. Rental car companies can and do rent cars that have been recalled and this significantly increases the chances of a deadly accident occurring. Our Boston car accident lawyers know that there is currently a law being debated in the Senate that would prohibit rental car companies from renting out recalled vehicles. However, there is no guarantee that this law will pass and consumers could continue to be in danger from rental vehicles if it doesn’t.
Rental Car Accidents a Real Risk Due to Recalled Vehicles
According to AOL Autos, safety advocates and lawmakers are facing off against auto industry representatives in a heated debate about whether to pass a law banning rental car companies from renting out recalled vehicles.
Safety advocates believe that it is just common sense that a rental car company should not rent out a vehicle that has been recalled. The president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, for example, indicated that she believed many people would be surprised to find out that it is not already the law that a rental car company cannot rent out a recalled car.
Car recalls, of course, occur in cars when there is a serious problem that creates a danger to drivers or other motorists. The fact that rental car companies could rent out vehicles with these problems has very real consequences. In fact, the proposed law to ban rental car companies from renting out recalled vehicles is named after two victims of an accident that occurred in a recalled rental.
The accident victims were young sisters from California who died in a car accident in 2004. The rental car they were driving had a leak that could result in a fire starting in the compartment of the engine. The rental car company was notified of the defect in the car and of the recall a month before the girls rented the vehicle. Unfortunately, the young sisters got into an accident and died as a result of a fire that broke out. The law, named in their memory, is now called the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safety Rental Car Act of 2013.
If the law is passed, rental car companies would be required to park recalled cars as soon as they receive notice of a recall. Most major rental car companies are on board with the law and support its passage. However, it is auto industry representatives who have a problem with this requirement and the reason is that it can take several months from the time when a recall notice is sent out until the vehicle is actually fixed.
Drivers of private vehicles are normally able to continue to drive their cars during this intermittent period until the vehicles are able to be fixed. The law would take this option away from rental car companies and the companies could be forced to ground large portions of their fleets, which would impose a big burden on small rental car companies.
While this may be a concern, the fact is that renting out a recalled car can be very dangerous if the vehicle puts people at risk. Something needs to change in order to provide better protection to consumers and to ensure no further lives are lost in preventable accidents.
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Ongoing Risk of Drowsy Drivers on Massachusetts Roadways, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 15, 2013.