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Small Companies Oppose The Rental Car Safety Bill

A bill that would restrict dealers and rental car companies’ sale and rental policies concerning recalled vehicles has been recently introduced. Lawmakers are apparently having troubles making sure that the bill passes after critics voiced their incisive opinion to how the bill could affect small business owners.

The reports indicate that the bill would ensure that if a car was recalled for an issue that could pose a danger to users, the company should have the vehicle fixed before renters are handed the keys.

Auto dealers and industry associations have been pushing against this bill by claiming that the bill is currently worded in a way that could put small businesses at a disadvantage.  The bill was named after two sisters who lost their lives as a result of an auto fire that involved a recalled car. The vehicle had been recalled because of a leak that could pose a fire risk. The vehicle was never fixed after the recall was announced in spite of the fact the company was aware of the recall for at least a month prior to the fatal accident.

The major rental car companies and other consumer groups support the bill. Lawmakers sponsoring the bill have reported they are doing everything in their power to lobby for the bill and push for it to pass.

Currently, the law doesn’t address the issue with recalled vehicles having to be repaired before they are resold or rented. Carmakers are required to notice all recalled car owners as soon as possible. The recall notice contains details concerning the problem and how many vehicles are affected. Automakers are also required to explain to affected car owners what they have to do to have the problem fixed.

The Rental Car Safety Act states that every rental car company would be required to have the vehicle fixed as soon as the company learns of a recall. The act also requires companies to have the recalled vehicles parked once they receive the recall notification from the company, which is what makes the bill unfair, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association and Auto Alliance. They claim that private citizens can continue driving their vehicles after they were recalled and after they received the recall notification, but private companies would not be allowed to if the bill passes.

By being forced to ground their fleets, small companies would be hit the hardest since they would not be able to operate. Big rental car companies like Hertz, Alamo or Enterprise have thousands of vehicles available. This bill would not hurt their businesses, but would hurt small rental car companies that rely on fewer vehicles to carry on with their services. According to supporters of this bill, this rationale is not enough to keep the law from being reformed.

At this moment, bill supporters are lobbying other lawmakers in order to obtain more support for the laws regarding rental companies parking recalled vehicles. For the full article and more details, click here.

About the Author
The Vachon Law Firm is based in Southern California and focuses exclusively on consumer protection litigation.