As of June 1, 2016, rental car agencies must now fix or otherwise address all safety defects in vehicles before they can rent them to customers. This requirement, under the Fixing America’s Service Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015, applies to all rental car companies that have a fleet of over 35 cars.
Protecting America’s Motorists from Recalled Vehicles
When customers use rental vehicles, they often assume that the vehicle is in good working order. That is often true, but before the FAST Act, there was no obligation for rental car companies to ensure that the vehicle or one of its components was not under a recall. That meant that customers could be driving extremely dangerous vehicles without even realizing it.
Although the bill was proposed in 2015, it look an entire year to become law. Perhaps the delay was the controversy regarding the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) new extended reach into the rental car realm. Never before had NHTSA been able to investigate or punish rental car companies for using vehicles that were subject to recalls.
Although this law will be extremely helpful in protecting consumers using rental vehicles, there are still other vehicle uses or sales that are not affected. For example, loaner cars offered by car dealerships are not affected by this law. Car dealerships can also sell used cars that subject to recalls as well, an issue that has been noted within Carmax dealerships.
It is important to check to see whether a recall has affected a vehicle before you consider purchasing it or driving it, regardless of whether it is new or used.
Defective vehicles can cause life-threatening accidents, particularly if a vital part fails. Our product liability attorneys can help if you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective vehicle.