US safety body investigating rental cars over safety recalls

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Car Rental News - 03/01/2011


The NHTSA is probing repair rates among US hire firms.

The USA’s National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has initiated an investigation in the rates at which US car rental companies service vehicles that are subject to safety recalls. This is the first such probe by the NHTSA this year.

Under the safety audit, the NHTSA has requested Chrysler, Ford and General Motors to supply it with data on recalls of and repairs to their models that are commonly used by car hire companies. Models covered include the Chevrolet Malibu, the Ford Fusion and the Chrysler Sebring.

The NHTSA is particularly interested in checking how long it took for car hire companies to service vehicles after safety recalls were issued for those models. The safety audit has been urged by two consumer safety groups in the USA.

The Executive Director of Auto Safety, one of a pair of safety groups that had pushed the NHTSA to undertake the review, said hire companies were waiting until it was ‘convenient’ to have vehicles serviced instead of pulling vehicles out of service as soon as safety recalls were issued. Rental companies refute the allegation, saying any vehicles subject to safety recalls were put on hold until they could be repaired.

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