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Rental car companies join effort to reduce defective car risk

When on a vacation, there is nothing like arriving at your destination and then finally getting into your rental car. It is nice to get a break from home and even from one's own vehicle sometimes. While most can't afford to rent a luxury sports car and don't expect a Jaguar, it is natural for consumers to at least expect that the vehicle they are renting is safe.

There are currently no laws in place requiring the ban of renting out vehicles that are subject to a product recall. A defective vehicle is dangerous not only for those driving and riding in it, but for all who share the road.

Fortunately, a change may be coming and the following major car rental companies have agreed that leasing out unfixed, recalled vehicles should no longer occur:

  • Enterprise
  • Hertz
  • Avis
  • Dollar Thrifty
  • National

While it is encouraging that these big rental car companies are behind the effort to reduce the risk of car accidents caused by defective vehicles, their support is just a step toward real legislation actually being put into place. Legislators from New York and other parts of the country have put a bill together that they'd soon like to see passed.

Supporters of the product safety bill comment that this sort of law is "common sense." Consumers are meant to be protected from defective and dangerous products. Vehicles, including those that are available at rental car facilities, are not exceptions to that products liability rule.

As owners of our own vehicles, we tend to be more aware of any potential dangers posed by our property. Car manufacturers and dealerships will often send notices to consumers alerting them of a design flaw or other danger that, if ignored, could lead to a car accident. Consumers should expect car rental companies to respond with as much vigor when their vehicles are deemed dangerous as an individual car owner would.

Source: Associated Press, "5 major rental car companies agree on recall plan," Michael Gormley, Sep. 27, 2012

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