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How a New Federal Law Helps Keep Your Family Safe When You Rent a Vehicle

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If you're like many people, you may need to rent a vehicle when you go on vacation; having your car fixed; or just need an additional sometimes. When you do this, you expect the newer, low-mileage vehicle you rent to be safe. But what happens if there's an outstanding recall on the automobile you are renting?

How New Federal Rules Regarding Recalls and Rental car rentalVehicles Affect You

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 900 recalls affecting 51 million vehicles—including some rental vehicles—in 2014. In the past, rental car companies still kept vehicles with open recalls in operation. Since this posed a serious safety issue, Congress passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015.

The legislation was championed by the family of Rachel and Jacqueline Houck, two sisters who tragically died after a crash with their rental vehicle—a model under recall for a steering control defect that the rental company hadn't repaired.  

The rules that went into effect on June 1, 2016 are:

  • The law applies to any dealer or car rental company with fleets of more than 35 vehicles.
  • Before renting recalled models to customers, dealers and car rental companies must fix all safety defects.

Because rental companies operate such large fleets, NHTSA officials hope the new law will go a long way to make consumers safer. Their goal is 100 percent compliance with this important law.

How to Find Out If Your Rental Car Has an Outstanding Recall

Unfortunately, not all car rental companies or dealerships renting vehicles will comply with this new law. To protect your family and you, you can check whether your proposed car rental is subject to a recall by using NHTSA’s free tool, which allows you to look up vehicles by their vehicle identification number or make and model.

If you or a family member was injured in a car accident while renting a vehicle, it could have been caused by an outstanding recall as well as a negligent driver. An experienced car accident attorney who also handles defective product cases can pursue all possible avenues of compensation for you. Call our firm today at 888.716.8021 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your legal options.


Category: Auto Accidents


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