Senate Committee Pushes Recalled Rental Car Bill Forward

Posted on August 2, 2013

A bill that seeks to inhibit rental car companies’ ability to sell or rent recalled vehicles has moved one step closer to becoming the law of the land after the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation unanimously gave the measure their approval earlier this week.

Named after two sisters from Santa Cruz who were killed in a crash involving a rented PT Cruiser that had been recalled and never fixed, the Safe Rental Car Act would outlaw the offering of any vehicle with an open recall until such time that the rental company can get the issue fixed.  This would cause rental car companies to fall in line with the same requirements as car dealerships.

Following pressure from a California Senator, numerous rental car companies came out in support of the measure, including Enterprise, Hertz, Dollar Thrifty and Avis Budget.  Various safety advocacy groups have also lined up behind the bill.

The worry is that numerous vehicles are being rented out to unsuspecting consumers who don’t even realize that the automobile they’re driving has an outstanding safety issue.  Without the necessary repairs, a defect at the wheel can prove tragic.  The mother of the sisters lost in the crash that prompted this bill in the first place explained that this measure could have saved her daughters’ lives if it had been in effect prior to their rental of a recalled vehicle.

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