Federal Legislators Proposing Law to Ban Rental of Recalled Vehicles
Across the country, every day countless people head out on the open road in a rented vehicle. Family vacations, business meetings, crash repairs; there are many reasons why a person would need a rented vehicle. What most people don’t know, though, is that they could be tooling down the road in a ticking time bomb.
In spite of the high-profile recall of millions of cars in recent years, there is no law prohibiting the rental of recalled vehicles even though the same defects that would lead an automaker to issue a recall in the first place exist in the rented cars as well.
The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2012 would force rental car companies to “ground” vehicles that are subject to recall until any necessary repairs have been made. The legislation is named after two sisters who died in a 2004 accident while riding in a recalled vehicle that had not been repaired. A faulty engine component sparked a fire that caused a loss of control and a fatal accident with a semi truck.
The girls’ mother has been informally and formally lobbying for a law to force rental car companies to only allow recalled vehicles to be rented once they have been repaired. She even went so far as to start an online petition designed to encourage some of the nation’s larger rental car agencies to voluntarily agree to ensure that repairs are made to recalled vehicles before they are rented again. In spite of more than 100,000 digital signatures, though, an agreement wasn’t reached for the companies to police themselves.
Recent mass-scale automobile recalls have involved such alarming issues as uncontrolled acceleration, failing brakes, engine fire hazards, tire blowouts and electrical system shorts. All of these could cause a loss of vehicle control, thus putting its inhabitants in peril.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a recalled rental vehicle that wasn’t repaired, or that wasn’t repaired sufficiently, you may have the opportunity to bring a legal action to recover monetary compensation. Speak with a skilled personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your legal rights and options.