By on February 27, 2011

Back in November, NHTSA announced that it was investigating how long it took for rental cars to be repaired under recall, saying

NHTSA understands that there is presently a petition before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seeking to prohibit at least one rental car company from renting vehicles on which safety recall campaign remedies remain outstanding.

Because only vehicles made by the Detroit Three are under investigation, they are the only firms who have been asked to disclose how long it takes rental fleets to repair their vehicles. And, according to the Detroit News

GM and Chrysler told NHTSA this week that 30 days after a recall — 10 to 30 percent of vehicles sold to rental car companies had been repaired.

By 90 days, it had improved to about 30 percent and within a year, the number had improved to 50 percent or higher.

Ford did not make its data public, citing the fact that the release of the information could damage it is relationship with rental car companies and result in “decreased sales of motor vehicles to rental car fleets.”

Rental car companies are not legally required to complete recalls before they rent the cars to customers.

Zoinks!

It turns out that the FTC petition was filed by the Ralph Nader-founded Center for Automotive Safety, which sought to force Enterprise Rent-A-Car to repair its recalled vehicles before renting them out. The petition stems from an incident in which two women died in an unrecalled PT Cruiser that caught fire. But, argue rental car firm advocates, targeting rental fleet recall compliance just isn’t fair.

Bob Barton, president of the American Car Rental Association noted, that hundreds of recalls and service bulletins affecting millions of vehicles in North America are issued annually.

“In most cases, members place a ‘hold’ on recalled vehicles so they are not rented until the recall work is completed,” he said.

Because rental cars move around so much it can take weeks or months for the company to find out a model has been recalled, thus taking much longer for repairs to be done, advocates said.

Rental car companies generally have better repair rates than consumers, who often fail to get recalled vehicles fixed.

But then, consumers who experience defects because they do not service their recalled vehicles have only themselves to blame. Consumers who rent vehicles, on the other hand. should probably be able to expect them to be free of dangerous defects. If nothing else, complying quickly with recall repairs would help rental fleet owners avoid legal liability. Still, current laws only prevent rental fleets from selling unrepaired recaled vehicles… there are no current laws requiring fleet owners or private consumers from repairing recalled vehicles. NHTSA’s investigation into the matter is ongoing.

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36 Comments on “The Ugly Truth About Rental Car Recalls...”


  • avatar
    John Horner

    Rental car companies routinely put their customers at risk. Last week I rented an Impala from Avis. I was shocked that it easily gut stuck when one of the two front wheels was parked on a small patch of ice and snow. The other wheel was on dry ground. Modern Impalas come standard with traction control and stability control, but my rental obviously had neither. A little researched showed the GM offers a $100 credit for deleting these options on fleet purchased vehicles. Individual purchasers don’t have the option of deleting this feature, but rental car companies both have the option and take advantage of it. Up until a few years ago they also had the option of deleting the side air bags, without which the side impact crash test results degrade significantly for Impalas. GM took enough heat over that issue that they stopped offering a side airbag delete option.

    The way these things work is that somewhere inside Avis there is a number cruncher who analyzes the likely financial losses from any injury and/or death claims likely to stick to Avis vs. the cost savings of deleting these options. Similar people also probably crunch the numbers on the cost of pulling a vehicle off the line for recalls vs. the likely cost to Avis of any claims resulting for accidents.

    The problem with corporations is that the individuals who make these decisions are largely shielded from personal liability for the business decisions they make. A strong argument can be made that knowingly degrading the safety of a rented vehicle by deleting safety equipment and neglecting to have safety related recalls performed is in fact willful negligence which puts customers at increased risk of injury or death. If a customer suffers bodily harm due to said negligence, the chances of the corporate employee who made that decision actually going to jail is nearly zero.
     

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      I can’t believe GM would do something so boneheaded after the bad press they got over the side airbag delete option–on the same car!  Never mind, it’s GM, of course I can believe it. I guess missing safety features are part of “that GM feeling.”

    • 0 avatar
      87CE 95PV Type Я

      Well Side Airbags and Stability Control were not required on vehicles and even now I do not know if they are required.
      Leaving the airbags off does not make sense, but an Impala is not that easy to roll and besides, you are not supposed to swerve in most cases.
      When I got stuck on some ice I just used my Floor Mats.

      Also, these vehicle are riddden hard and sold soon afterwards anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      You get what you pay for in a rental vehicle – although a lot of the time you don’t have much of a choice. The market for rentals is very price sensitive. If safety sold in rentals, the market would provide it. I try not to rent domestic vehicles, particularly ChryCo products. I doubt Toyota would cancer up its brand by selling stripper models to rental firms.

      If a customer suffers bodily harm due to said negligence, the chances of the corporate employee who made that decision actually going to jail is nearly zero.

      They sold a legal product that was probably better maintained and safer than 75% of the vehicles on the road. If you want to enforce jail-time type punishments for poorly maintained vehicles that cause harm, good luck. The people-of-wal-mart demographic will be jailed 1000x more than the evil-corporate bean counter / executive.

    • 0 avatar

      My mother unknowingly bought her 2007 Ford Escape without side-curtain airbags. The dealer didn’t tell her, and neither of us knew to look for them. They charged her full MSRP for the vehicle (my mother refused to take any time negotiating on anything), and final price of the vehicle was about $20,000. Resale has fallen through the floor, of course, although I don’t know if that’s due to the lack of side-curtain airbags or just the fact that it’s a Ford.
       
      I would think a lot of people with little money buy vehicles that are about as stripped out as the vehicle you talk about and the vehicle my mother drives, and I’ll bet it’s also common to find even late-model domestic vehicles without side curtain airbags on the retail side of the equation.
       
      But it makes me wonder. If it’s willful negligence to rent a customer at Avis a vehicle without airbags without their knowledge, is it also negligence for a car company to sell a customer a vehicle without their knowing that they should be looking for safety equipment like side-curtain airbags? I don’t think my mother would have bought her Escape had she known it had no side-curtain airbags. I also don’t think many customers look closely enough at the actual sticker on the car window before buying to make sure a vehicle has equipment like that. Would a 2009 Ranger customer know that the truck had no side-curtain airbags? They’re so ubiquitous on most vehicles that I can’t think of more than a few that don’t have them. I know the Chevy Colorado has head but not torso airbags, and I also know you have to specify them on a few Chrysler vehicles, but they’re not something the average buyer looks for in cars. If they don’t mention it the customer doesn’t know. And I certainly don’t think a rental buyer will ask in advance to have side-curtain airbags on their rental.
       
      I, personally, think it’s OK to build or rent a vehicle without side-curtain airbags, but if you’re going to do that you have an obligation to the customer to make them aware of the risks associated with buying a vehicle without the airbags. I don’t know how common my mother’s situation is, but it seems to me like side-curtain airbags are something that auto companies should educate their customers about. Yes, we were stupid to not ask for side-curtain airbags on our car. But until very recently, the buyer was expected to look through the sticker to make sure it specifies “side curtain airbags” on many domestics especially, something most manufacturers had as standard for years. Had we realized the car didn’t have them before we bought it, we would likely not have bought the car. I think both situations are partly due to a lack of education of the buyer, but really, how much of this can we blame on buyers? The last thing a renter or buyer of a car would ever want to do is go through every recall notice and every single paper ever attributed to the VIN to make sure it has airbags and stability control. There’s so much crap to go through already.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Luigiian -
       
      It’s hardly fair to single out domestic auto makers for making safety features optional.  The Honda CR-V and Toyota Rav4 both had optional side-curtain airbags up to the 2007 model, while Ford made them standard on the Escape with the 2008 redesign.  Ford beat Toyota with the Focus by making side curtain airbags standard a year before they became standard on the Corolla.  There are plenty of other cases to look at, but making safety features standard across a model line usually lines up with when a model is due for a refresh, the imports don’t have any edge over the domestics overall.  The lack of the side curtain bags isn’t likely hurting the trade in value of your mom’s car as much as the fact that she bought the last year of that bodystyle.

    • 0 avatar

      @NulloModo:
       
      Ok. I didn’t know about that. I suppose I just figured it was endemic to domestics, I don’t look at foreign makes much.
       
      With that said, I wonder how many people have cars without side-curtain airbags. Probably the vast majority of people with any make of base model car manufactured before 2008 or so, at the very least, yes?

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      In Defense Of Rental Car Companies.

      Full disclosure: I work for a rental car firm – which shall remain un-named.

      Rants like Mr. Horner’s up there really get me going. I’d better never read a post by you villainizing the people that insta-sue car companies for not installing every safety feature imaginable under any circumstance (such as the Mazda MPV seatbelt case a few weeks back). You’re blaming Avis for buying an Impala without traction and stability control? Seriously? Your ability to drive a vehicle is not at all in question, given the fact that you apparently cannot drive one without these features? You know, there are quite a few people out there that get around just fine without such things every day, myself being one of them. I get this type of nonsense all the time – customer doesn’t like car, but uses car for a week in any circumstance they please, then when they get back, they ask for money off (AFTER the use of the product) because it doesn’t have ABS, or traction control, or power windows, or such-and-such that makes it “dangerous,” and then, when you don’t adjust whatever they want off (usually 50% or better), they threaten to sue. Obviously nothing ever comes of it, but I’m really surprise that the usually enlightened TTAC B&B are falling all over themselves to eschew reality and common sense and personal responsibility in this singular matter.

      Also, Luigiian – your mother bought a vehicle. It’s up to her (or you, if you were supposed to be helping her) to figure out what features and options are on a given vehicle. It’s not up to the Ford dealer to make sure you buy the options you want without you telling them. That’s the height of irresponsibility. And, no, the Ford dealer should not be expected to adjust more money off the vehicle for missing optional features. If you ordered it, you’d pay for it, and it’d be on the Monroney sticker. Otherwise, tough luck. Sorry for the vitreol in this response but I absolutely cannot stand this type of attitude’s lack of responsibility. You make your own destiny.

      As for my rental car concern, we have every recall performed as soon as we possibly can, and gauge the swiftness with which we perform the recalls (which involves taking the vehicle out of the fleet and sitting on it – revenue-free – often for weeks or somethimes MONTHS at a time, due to parts availability, dealership’s willingness to work on non-customer vehicles, etc.) based on the severity of the recalled problem. I’ll also remind you that manufacturers announce recalls and then wait months to notify the owners in the general public, and usually it’s some time AFTER THAT that the parts are actually available and the dealer will accept the vehicle to start the recall work. But the rental car concerns are apparently the bad guys for not getting recalls done the instant the blogosphere is aware of them… You know, since that makes sense…

      What Enterprise did (I’ve been familiar with this case for some years now) was not right, and they were held responsible through personal tort law. How many of you know someone (or even know someone who knows someone who knows someone) who’s been the least bit injured by an incident in a rental car that’s traceable to this type of negligence?

      Why is the Enterprise wreck such a big story, even years after it happened? Because this type of thing happens exactly that often: never. The writers on this site talk down manufacturer recalls that “only” involved fifteen wrecks and three deaths (coughToyotacough) and say the government was picking a fight unfairly, but then raise your pitchforks and torches toward rental companies due to a SINGLE incident several years ago. What gives?

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      What a ridiculous post! Most amazing is the lack of profound embarassment a rational man would feel for being unable to drive a car without traction control.

      There have been hundreds of millions of vehicles on American roads with none of these safety features for decades.

      The notion that the nanny state should require every possible safety feature is not just absurd, it is terrifying to any one who believes in freedom and liberty. What next?

      The most disgusting idea evident here is the lack of any sense of personal responsibility to investigate what you are buying or renting before you lay down your money.

      The worst thing is that most “safety” recalls are exceedingly unlikely events that seldom lead to injury, let alone death. The idea that rental company executives are putting their customers at risk plays to anti entrepreneurial class envy, but is unfounded by the real truth.

      @KalapanaBlack- GREAT Post!

      Final thought for those who label the profit motive “greed”. When you looked for employment, did you not try to get the best wage or salary you could? Was that “greed”?  
       
      The artificial class envy notion that profit=greed betrays profound ignorance of the reality that all business has to profit simply to survive.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      @Doctor Olds
       
      On personal responsibility, I whole heartedly agree. It’s a reasonable thing to ask of people. I also think it’s reasonable to ask companies for transparency. Ever try to read the fine print on credit card rules? Why can’t I know if I am eating genetically modified food? If I rent from “rent-a-wreck”, I know I am going budget, and take my chances. If I rent from Hertz or Avis, I am paying a premium and believe I’m entitled to disclosure.

      On maximizing a salary… well, when given a choice of 2 jobs, candidates don’t necessarily go for the highest paying one.  There are other factors to weigh such as dress code, company culture, stability of the company, commute, etc.

      Agreed,  profit != greed.   But I do make a fine grained distinction:
       
      obscene profit = greed
      almost obscene profit = sustained growth

  • avatar
    potatobreath

    Did you leave Avis any feedback? Maybe they will provide traction and stability control if you tell them you want to see that in all the cars you rent. Or consider a different car or company.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    It should be obvious that the costumer wants a safe car. that shouldn’t require a “feedback”.

    Choosing a different rental company isn’t much of an option if all of them do it, and if it is not known that the safety options are deleted. When I book a rental car I only see “Impala or equal”
     
    This also hurts the resale value of rental cars even more. not only do I know that the used car i buy was beaten by several morons, but it also is skimmed down to the bare wheels.
     
    Saving $ 100 while knowingly endangering people sounds like a good law suit to me :-)

    • 0 avatar
      potatobreath

      However, not all of the rental companies trim their cars to the bare bones. Cars can be chosen for maximum resale. For instance, the rental company I work at offer mid-grade Impala LT. They do have traction control, and there is a traction defeat button where the interior dimming light rheostat is. Go with a different company. If you feel strongly about Avis, then let them know that the lack of traction control in the rented Impala was not okay, and that you feel unsafe driving their full-size vehicles. That will send a message to the beancounters. Maybe you’ll get a free upgrade from the manager too.
      You are expected to have clean cars too. If the car is filthy, then let them know.
      If you’re given a car without the safety equipment that you want, then take it back and ask for a different vehicle. Me, I’d check the tire pressure too if I ever needed to rent a car.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Dealing with rental car companies really sucks.  Not surprised that they put off having recall work done.  However, that’s nothing compared to their non-reservation reservation system.  The customer carefully shops for the best deal to rent a particular car, makes the reservation, and then the local rental office presents the choice between a totally unsuitable substitute or an upsell to a more expensive car.  No way one can shop for safety in this bait and switch market.

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    Sadly, corporations no longer know the difference between “maximizing” profits and making “enough” profit.
     

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      Who is to say who earns enough or too much profit? Do you want someone to come and tell you how much income you can or cannot make? I bet not.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      “Sadly, corporations no longer know the difference between “maximizing” profits and making “enough” profit.”
       
      …because they have a FICUNDIARY DUTY to maximize returns.
       
      Managers, including Boards of Directors, are EMPLOYEES of their corporations – they are charged with getting maximum return on the shareholders’ investments.  To do otherwise is legally actionable.
       
      I’m amazed at how many people confuse a business with a Red Cross charity.  Shareholders entrust their money to the business; and business managers are to make the most of that money and that trust.
       
      Saying a corporation is greedy because it takes opportunities that are present, is like saying a bank is greedy when it wants its loan-money back; or that it demands an interest rate.
       
      The issue here seems to be whether there was neglegence over what a “reasonable and prudent” course would require.  Remember, those cars were built and sold in that state; prior to the recalls, everything was seen as being just-fine.  Fleet managers have to juggle books to make time to get cars in for repairs; and most repairs are done in-house.  Taking a fleet vehicle to a dealer takes time; the dealer usually doesn’t prioritize, giving preference to private customers waiting in their lounge.
       
      Was this deferred an un-reasonable amount of time?  Were they made aware of the critical nature of the recall?  Those are the only issues.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      @AJ — I am not saying someone should tell a company how much profit it can make.  I’m saying the company should know for itself when enough is enough.  And that is a lost art of another business era.
       
      @JustPassinThru – “because they have a FICUNDIARY DUTY to maximize returns”.  This is code for “we’re going to do something borderline shady, but we have to think of the shareholders.”

      Hiding behind shareholders is not the way to honor any fiduciary duty.  Produce good products, pay attention to your customers, and take care of your employees, and profits will follow.  That’s the way to maximize long term returns.
       
       

    • 0 avatar

      AJ and JustPassinThrough are right, it’s not the corporation’s job to draw a line at making too much money.
       
      Thing is, though, this has nothing to do with profits or money. This has to do with companies willfully renting people cars which have significantly different safety equipment than a car that person would expect to buy from a car dealer, and rental companies that won’t spend the money necessary to keep their customers safe.
       
      Businesses have no obligation to make sure people are safe in their vehicles because a corporation is an entity designed solely to make money. Sure, a dead person is a person that can’t rent a car again, but even assuming that person rents a car through your establishment again, is it worth putting side-curtain airbags in every car you rent to people? In the eyes of certain car rental companies, the answer is clearly no, based upon their actions up to this point.
       
      Should the government require side-curtain airbags be sold on rental cars? Not until it requires them on all vehicles, retail and rental, of course. (Cue libertarians and anti-government types complaining about unnecessary market interference, I can’t wait for that to ensue.) But if one wants to suggest that corporations will just give you safety features, that person is doomed to be mistaken. Rental companies won’t care until either media picks up on it, and even then it won’t really take effect until public outcry forces the rental companies to put in airbags.
       
      You’ve got three options:
      1. Write your congressperson.
      2. Write a nasty letter to the CEO telling them how much it angers you that they don’t put safety equipment into vehicles/comply with recalls/etc. Get everyone you know to do the same. Mount a boycott of the company until they do what you want them to do.
      3. Write the media.
       
      Or, do all three.
       
      That’s the only way they would comply.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      @JustPassinThru – “because they have a FICUNDIARY DUTY to maximize returns”.  This is code for “we’re going to do something borderline shady, but we have to think of the shareholders.” Hiding behind shareholders is not the way to honor any fiduciary duty.  Produce good products, pay attention to your customers, and take care of your employees, and profits will follow.  That’s the way to maximize long term returns.
       
      A management team that does not maximize profits, instead putting money into unprofitable programs, is going to have to answer to the shareholders.  And the value of its stock will plummet.  And if that management team is not quickly dismissed and replaced, the corporation will fail or will be stunted.
       
      I buy stock, I am entrusting my money to the corporation’s managers.  I’m doing it because I need to grow my savings; I have a kid that needs college or I want to retire some day,  I do NOT give a damn about THE MANAGERS’ social-activist programs.  They can work on those on their time with their PERSONAL money.
       
      Not mine.
       
      If I see a business doing such things, I will avoid buying into it.  So will others.  So its ability to raise capital will be nil.
       
      And Enterprise, or Avis, or any other rental company…are not omnipotent; they cannot know what will happen.  Many recall notices are silly wastes of time to satisfy nuisance “public interest” agencies.  Do I need to drop everything to rush my Toyota into the shop to have them replace child-safety-seat anchors?  That was one recent recall notice.
       
      Enterprise is a business; not a handmaiden of a business-hostile government.  They have to do their work in orderly fashion.  They assume, reasonably, that a car engineered and manufactured and sold is basically a safe car.  So a recall notice is not cause for sending an auto-carrier out to snatch every one of their fleet up the instant the recall is issued.
       
      Things happen.  A guy rents one of their cars who turns out to be a drunk.  Another steals it and sells the parts.  A third person uses it to lure young girls to their deaths.  And this car, happened to have a fire in it, which MAY or MAY NOT be directly related to the recall.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      “JustPassinThru” – By your definition, a corporation would be obliged to ignore any moral codes and break as many laws as it thinks it can get away with if that is the perceived path to maximum profits. Such a definition may seem intellectually satisfying in a certain way, but is rotten at the core.

      There are a few very successful companies which endeavor to build a lasting enterprise of value to all of the associated stake holders rather than pursuing simple minded short term maximum profits. Costco comes to mind as one example. On the other hand, most of the short term maximum profit seekers end up in a world of hurt once their moral compromises catch up to them. Enron and Lehman Brothers being but two examples. During their brief days of massive profits the executives of said companies routinely shovel hundreds of millions of dollars off the table and into their own accounts.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      “JustPassinThru” – By your definition, a corporation would be obliged to ignore any moral codes and break as many laws as it thinks it can get away with if that is the perceived path to maximum profits. Such a definition may seem intellectually satisfying in a certain way, but is rotten at the core.”

      Nothing I said suggested that. Adherence to the law is not optional.

      Saving money by breaking laws is crime, not maximizing profits.

      A well-run business does maximize profits while satisfying customers, and is able to continue to grow with goodwill and from profit.

      Of course, all bets are off when agitators begin their libel campaigns, based in half-truths to manipulate the gullible.

      There’s no defense against that – when the law applies only to one side and large numbers of people are not able to critically evaluate. That’s when smear campaigns like that launched at Toyota, or other products or businesses or fields, are able to destroy decades of work.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      John Horner: ‘“JustPassinThru” – By your definition, a corporation would be obliged to ignore any moral codes and break as many laws as it thinks it can get away with if that is the perceived path to maximum profits…’
       
      That sounds like the definition of a politician as well. Just substitute profits for contributions or power.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      A line was crossed years ago when “profit” changed to “greed”. That’s the difference – GREED! Of course that’s being somewhat simplistic, but it’s true, basically.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I’m not sure this is the proper thread to refer to this, but since we’re talking about business and how they do things, the 3M chief has pretty much thrown down the gauntlet to the government in reference to their policies and how they are perceived as “anti-business”. You can link to the article on the Financial Times thru Drudge Report. If you go directly to FT, you have to subscribe to read it. It is interesting, to say the least, “Scathing” is more like it, as it involves the auto industry along with everything else. I don’t believe it to be alarmist, either, but so true as to what already has happened to domestic R&D and manufacturing. Like it or not, idelogical preferences or not, it’s what’s happening – and already happened.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I rent a car about 3-5 times a year (probably more than most people but definitely less than others).  I check my own car’s VIN against outstanding recalls on the manufacturer’s website, but it’s never crossed my mind to check a rental car’s VIN.
     
    It seems that it should be simple enough for a rental company to check that at, say, every oil change.  Granted, I have to pass one of those anti-spam “type the blurry wavy word” tests when I check my car, so verifying VIN/recall status can’t be completely automated, but…  include the recall status with the information the rental agent checks before releasing each vehicle to a customer.  For example: odometer reading, existing scratches/dents, GPS, XM, etc., recall compliance last verified on YYMMDD.
     
    Then again, maybe we’re looking at this from the wrong perspective.  Let consumer advocacy groups start a public information campaign.  Get the word out for rental car customers to ask the agent at the rental car booth “if the vehicle is in up to date on federal recalls.”  Uh oh…

  • avatar
    87CE 95PV Type Я

    Same thing is probably true for Government Vehicles as well.

  • avatar
    LectroByte

     
    Come on, you all have never driven your personal vehicle before attending to the recall notices at a more convenient time?  I have.  It all depends on the nature of the recall.  “Windshield wipers may lift off at high speeds” can wait longer than “brake master cylinder can leak down”.  Although rental cars are their own set of hell these days, that 35k miles Cobalt felt like it had 135k on it.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      “It all depends on the nature of the recall.”
       
      Yes, it does. I’ve never waited over a year (like rental car companies have done 50% of the time) to have a safety related recall taken care of. Have you?
       

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “GM and Chrysler told NHTSA this week that 30 days after a recall — 10 to 30 percent of vehicles sold to rental car companies had been repaired.”
     
    And this is why the unfortunate specter of government regulations are required in order to get companies to behave themselves. It would be a fairly simple matter to insist that any SAFETY RELATED equipment recalls be made within a certain time frame, say 30-60 days.
     

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    I’m pissed.  I just went out to the garage and checked my V-Strom.  Looks like someone stole the side airbags (well, all of the airbags) and the traction control too.  Looks like I’m screwed.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      “Motorcycles have a higher fatality rate per unit of distance travelled when compared with automobiles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2006, 18.06 cars out of 100,000 ended up in fatal crashes. The rate for motorcycles is 55.82 per 100,000.[1] In 2004, figures from the UK Department for Transport indicated that motorcycles have 16 times the rate of serious injuries per 100 million vehicle kilometers compared to cars, and double the rate of bicycles.[2]“

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_safety#Accident_rates

      Yeah, enjoy that V-Strom.

    • 0 avatar
      aircooledTOM

      Oh dear, I just checked my Yamaha and my old Triumph.  Those same pieces of equipment were missing, also they both require a kickstarter– awful…  Also, the 2010 Sentra I just bought lacks Traction Control or Stability Control.  How was I supposed to know that it doesn’t have that stuff?  I’m going to sue for a refund.  YIKES it has rear drum brakes.  Somebody should have told me.  Oh, right, it was on the Moroney. 

      Seriously, as for decontented rentals and former rentals on used lots, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.  Caveat Emptor.

    • 0 avatar
      aircooledTOM

      @ John Horner

      Not actually relevant.  Motorcycles are necessarily more fatal when wrecked.  They are lighter and their operators ride on the outside of them.  Apples ≠ oranges.

      In addition, they are often ridden exuberantly by inexperienced riders with more horsepower than sense.  That alone should account for much of your statistics.  People who actually ride motorcycles for transportation (rather than for sport or looking cool or going a million/mph on the Jersey Turnpike at rush hour) have about the same incidence of injurious wrecks are their car-bound brethren.  They are far more careful than most drivers and the lion’s share of them rack up 10s of thousands of miles a year without incident. 

      Also, the “per unit distance travelled” is weighting the evidence unfairly in favor of your argument.  The typical motorcyclist doesn’t come anywhere near the average 15K miles that the average motorist drives per year.  (weather concerns, can’t take the kids to Grandma’s house in Ohio, etc.)  Your argument is disingenuous. 

      Also, stability control is for girls.  …that’ll do it.

    • 0 avatar
      joeveto3

      @Horner
      Take those stats and remove all the imbeciles who ride without helmets, the rookies and the rest who jump on 100hp plus bikes with no license, no insurance, and no formal training, and the nitwits who think it’s ok to ride after a few beers, and you’ll see dramatically different numbers.

      I’ve been riding for over 20 years.  I go long distance, I commute, and I even ride in freezing weather.  And through it all, whether we’re discussing cars or motorcycles or something else inherently dangerous, shit, riding a bicycle or walking down the stairs, I never relied on a safety nanny to keep my ASS out of the ringer, but instead relied on training, practice, and respect for whatever activity it is in which I’m partaking.
      Heck, I even do this with rental cars I use (very frequently).  So in the event that I’m provided with a rental car that …ghast…doesn’t have yaw control, I can tailor my driving style accordingly, and perhaps not attack that cloverleaf at 9/10ths in light snow.

      Maybe I’m getting old, but the whole personal liability/responsibility/good citizen thing just makes sense.
      Now excuse me while I go enjoy my V-strom.

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    John Horner: ‘“JustPassinThru” – By your definition, a corporation would be obliged to ignore any moral codes and break as many laws as it thinks it can get away with if that is the perceived path to maximum profits…’

    That sounds like the definition of a politician as well. Just substitute profits for contributions or power.
     
    Completely different.  A government (controlled by politicians) can and does use FORCE, or the threat of force.
     
    You are free to not patronize any corporation you choose not to.  Nobody ever put a gun into my ribs and ordered me into a Microsoft store.  Nobody ever forced me to rent from Enterprise.
     
    If you think that what a business is doing is unsafe or immoral, you can vote with your wallet.  What’s being done to us from Washington, we have very little say on.
     
    … I wasn’t polled about ethanol.  Were you?


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