Rental Car Companies Failing to Protect Customers, Ignore Recalls

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2011 | Auto Defects |

A dangerous practice has been getting a lot of attention in Texas and across the nation: rental car companies’ failure to get vehicles fixed after motor vehicle manufacturers announce recalls. This unsafe practice is incredibly negligent, as recalls are issued to avoid serious injury or deaths from occurring with known auto defects.

It’s unbelievable that rental car companies would rent out unsafe vehicles to their customers, usually at a high price, as the American rental car company industry made more than $20 billion dollars last year. However, the law doesn’t require companies to get recalled vehicles fixed before turning the keys over to customers, so many car companies will forego the repairs to cut corners and save some money.

Hopefully new laws will be passed to protect consumers, as many of the national rental car companies have demonstrated that customer safety isn’t important to them unless there are serious legal consequences.

Rental Car Company’s Ignorance of Recall Kills Two

Enterprise Holdings, the company owning car rental businesses Enterprise, National and Alamo, settled a lawsuit for $15 million last year after renting out a PT Cruiser with a known, dangerous steering defect. The vehicle ended up in a fiery crash because of the auto defect, killing the two women occupants.

Other vehicles that are popular for rental car companies to offer customers, such as the Chevy Cobalt, have known defects; these auto defects are routinely ignored to save the company some money. If you are planning on renting a car, it is a good idea to explore which vehicles will be available and do some recall research before accepting a rental vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has an easy-to-use tool available here.

Ford F-150 Fire Reported:

A recent incident in Portales, New Mexico illustrates the danger when recalls are ignored. As we reported in October, many Ford F-150s pose fire hazards. The owner of a 1999 F-150 got the memo concerning problems with Fords manufactured between 1997 and 2001, but it appears he didn’t get the necessary repairs made. Ford issued 3 separate recalls for this model.

The 41-year-old man was lucky to avoid serious burn injuries or death, as his F-150 truck exploded and was engulfed in flames. Fortunately, it was parked in the street at the time and nobody was injured.

Sources: CBSnews,