By on February 23, 2015

Rental Car Corridor - SeaTac International Airport

The next vehicle the TTAC Zaibatsu or the B&B rent could be safer if Congress heeds the call of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

AutoGuide reports the NHTSA is calling upon Congress to pass legislation that would bar rental companies and used-car dealerships from renting or selling any vehicle under recall without first being repaired; current legislation only asks of such things for new vehicles prior to sale.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that “requiring rental car agencies and used car dealers to fix defective vehicles before renting is a common-sense solution” that would improve road safety. Foxx adds that Congress should follow the lead of both safety advocates and the rental-car industry in taking a stand on the issue.

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12 Comments on “NHTSA To Congress: Pull Recalled Used, Rental Vehicles Off The Road...”

  • avatar

    Most recalled vehicles have problems that really aren’t that serious, though as computers start controlling an increasing number of components, issues could start getting worse as a small error in design could create a complete system failure.
    Small errors in my 1st gen S10 caused major problems until I found I had created a ground loop among a few issues.

  • avatar

    Anything that would force rental car companies to actually maintain their vehicles is fine with me. I fly a lot for my job, and I’ve had quite a few rental cars with 40K+ miles on them that weren’t maintained at all beyond annual oil changes. I once got an Impala with over 50K on the clock and nearly crashed because the brakes gave out.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Im with you, I rent weekly and nothing infuriates me more than finding I slected a turd.

      The most infuriating is when the alignment is so far off you have the wheel turned almost 45 degrees to go straight. How can the jack wagons that move the cars around from drop off to make ready to front row not say anything and have the issue addressed?

      • 0 avatar

        Reminds me of the shopping carts at the grocery store: every other one has a bad wheel that will drive you crazy. What, they can’t just routinely clean and lube the wheels? Seems such an idea never crosses their minds. I now “test drive” my cart and will put a bad one back rather than wrestle with it.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          Except with the rental car counter at ohare by the time you figure out you have a pile it is too late as I am typically on a tight schedule etc and looping around through the labyrinth to get a different car is way too difficult.

          I would be much happier if the cars were tight and right the first time. I will say with national this has not been the norm, seems like enterprise was the worst offender. Last time I was at enterprise they tried to put me in a Camry with the CEL tree lit up and the guy acted like switching to the same color Camry right next to it was an act of congress. Needless to say I don’t rent from them anymore,

  • avatar

    It makes so much sense it’ll never happen.

  • avatar

    Other than a heartfelt idea, how many rental cars with recall actions are in the inventory. How many are critical?

  • avatar

    There is a difference between recalls for safety issues and recalls for convenience issues. There is a good argument for requiring that problems with brakes, steering, air bags, etc. be repaired before the vehicle is rented or sold. Other stuff, like air conditioning or radio, won’t kill anyone if they fail in traffic.

    • 0 avatar

      And often dealers don’t have the replacement parts to make the vehicle NHTSA-roadworthy again.

      Our 2012 Grand Cherokee was recently recalled for the diode board in the alternator which could cause an underhood fire when it fails, but the caveat on the recall is that Jeep will notify us when the part will become available. That’s been months!

      So what is a used car dealer supposed to do? Sit on that trade-in until it can be fixed. That ties up a lot of capital, based on the sheer number of GM vehicles recalled, alone, not to mention all the other brands that had recalls.

      Not do-able.

      • 0 avatar

        NHTSA wants to put pressure on OEMs to get recall parts out sooner. They don’t care about the feasibility of it, so this is one mechanism they can use. Put the hurt on the customers who in turn will put the hurt on the OEMs.

  • avatar

    “Other than a heartfelt idea, how many rental cars with recall actions are in the inventory. How many are critical?”

    I don’t think recalls are rated according to criticality. They’re all just considered safety defects. If such a rule were to be enacted, though, I think some kind of ranking based on probability of occurrence vs. potential for injury would have to be established

    Parts are being used across model platforms are causing recalls to bloom to ever larger numbers of cars affected. I can see this as having the potential to cripple rental fleets. What are rental firms supposed to do while suppliers tool up to make all the replacement switches, airbags, etc? My Dodge has a recall on it, which apparently covers everything with a Pentastar engine, to replace the alternator, which is apparently being hand carved from a solid billet. Not even a vague ETA.

  • avatar

    Last fall I rented a new Impala (W body “Limited”). When I went to the stall to get in the car, there was just a key, no remote. I went back to report the missing remote so I wouldn’t be accused of losing it. At first they looked all around their key storage boards to try and find it. They finally said there was some sort of recall and they were not giving out anything but the bare key until the recall was completed.

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