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New Federal Law Focused on Rental Cars and Recalls

Steve Wagner

Earlier this summer, a new federal law focused on recalls and rental car companies took effect. It is hard to believe that prior to this law’s enactment, rental car companies were able to rent out vehicles with outstanding recalls on them. Unsuspecting travelers, whether business people or families on vacation, were at risk of injury or death as a result of unrepaired recalls. Thankfully, the new law prohibits any company or dealer with more than 35 vehicles from renting out unrepaired recalled vehicles. The law also gives the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA) recall authority over rental car companies, thereby allowing them to investigate and punish those who are violating the law.

Change in Law Comes Amidst Largest Auto Recall in History

This change to the federal law couldn’t come at a better time. The U.S. in in the middle of the largest recall in our country’s history, with tens of millions of vehicles being recalled due to a deadly defect in their airbags. Some parts inside airbags manufactured by Takata Corp. have been found to break down and shoot metal shrapnel out during an accidents. Several lives have been lost and hundreds of injuries caused by this dangerous flaw in the product. The recalled vehicles include those from the following automakers: Acura, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota.

With this many vehicles being recalled, it is safe to assume there were many, many rental cars and trucks with defective Takata airbags in them. Though the new law intends to quickly address this issue, the large scale of the recall may mean these recalled vehicles may still be in rental fleets for months to come. When renting a vehicle (or out of concern for your own personal vehicle), it is always possible to check the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in order to determine if there is an open recall on that specific car or truck. If you are renting a vehicle and find an open recall, you should request a different vehicle and report the problem to the NHTSA.

If you or someone you know suffered an injury or death as a result of a faulty car part or design, give the product liability lawyers at Wagner Reese a call today. We have decades of experience in handling product liability cases and a long history of successfully representing injured clients. You won’t find a better firm to represent you in your personal injury case. Call us today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation.


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