Law proposed to prevent rental of recalled vehicles

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Car Rental News - 02/06/2011


A US senator will introduce a bill aimed at stopping the practice to renting cars that are subject to recalls.

A senator in the USA says he is planning to introduce a bill that would stop car hire firms from renting out automobiles that are subject to manufacturers’ recalls for issues that have not been fixed. For several years, there have been calls for regulatory moves to prevent the practice over safety fears.

Representative Charles Schumer, a Democratic senator from New York, said on Monday that car hire companies appeared to be more interested in maintaining profits by keeping recalled vehicles actively in their fleets than with making sure the people and families driving their cars were safe. Schumer said a number of serious accidents over recent years involving hire cars under recalls had led to a need for the law.

This month, the vehicle-hire industry proposed introducing a two-tier system that would see vehicles kept off the road in cases where the recall concerned serious safety issues. Where recalls were considered less serious, repairs would be implemented as quickly as possible but cars would not have to be ‘grounded’ in the meantime.

The industry proposal was put forward by the country’s American Car Rental Association. The association said its proposed two-tier system could ensure dangerous cars were not hired out while not unnecessarily keeping cars off the road.

The association added that there was no clear direction from either automakers or the USA’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about which recalls offer a serious risk that needs to be addressed before a vehicle can be used. At the moment, all vehicle owners, including hire firms, have to decide for themselves if a vehicle can still be operated when it is subject to a recall.

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