Repeating recall information is something we take seriously. Every day, we at Terrell • Hogan, represent victims of personal injury and wrongful death as they seek justice, and lawsuits we have pursued have prompted safety changes. However, that came after the incidents, accidents and injuries happened, so it’s important to try to help prevent injuries and wrongful deaths. For the last few years while warning consumers about recalls to their personal vehicles, we’ve also alerted people about an unknown danger, renting vehicles that are under a recall.
We are pleased to report that it is now illegal for rental car companies to rent vehicles that have been recalled under a new federal law that took effect June 1, 2016. The law now requires rental companies to remove vehicles from their rental inventory until the recalls are repaired. This new law is the result of a mother’s advocacy so her daughters’ deaths would not be in vain. Raechel and Jacqueline Houck died after their Enterprise rental car, a Chrysler PT Cruiser, caught fire and crashed due to a power steering malfunction that was the subject of a recall. Enterprise knew about the recall and failed to get it fixed it before renting it to Mrs. Houck’s daughters. Unsafe Rental Cars and Used Cars with Recalls on our Roadways
The Safe Rental Car Act should ensure that consumers who rent a vehicle are not driving a car with a known, recalled defect. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said “When a family picks up a rental car on vacation, they should be able to expect it is free of any known safety defect.” Millions of people rent cars every year and now they can do so expecting rental companies won’t rent or sell cars they know are defective. Time will tell how diligent the rental car companies will be in complying with their legal obligation to get recalled vehicles fixed before putting people on the road in them.
There is still more to do because this ban on rental car companies renting or selling recalled vehicles does not apply to used car dealers despite demands by safety advocates for that lifesaving change. No one should be allowed to sell a vehicle that is under recall.
New Federal law for recalled rental cars protects consumers from vehicle safety defects.