Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on September 28th, 2012,
by Zane Cagle

Clayton-Based Car Rental Co Agrees to Stop Lease Cars w/Safety Recalls

Posted on September 28th, 2012 by Zane Cagle

According to Fox 2 Now, a Clayton-based rental car company has agreed to stop renting vehicles that are under safety recalls.  This seems like common sense, right?  As it stands now, there is not legislation that prohibits leasing cars that are under safety recall! Wow………………….so lessees beware if you go to rent a vehicle.

The good news is that this Clayton-based company is one of the largest rental companies in the country and they not only have agreed to stop leasing vehicles on safety recall but they also support legislation that bans rental car companies from leasing or selling cars within a 24 hours receipt of notice of the recall.  I applaud this move and the support that other leading rental companies backing this legislation. So far, Enterprise, Hertz, Avis and Dollar Thrifty have been named as supporting this legislation.

Usually there is an event to get this kind of legislation started and this attempt to do the right thing came on the heels of $15 Million dollar verdict. A California jury found for the family of two sisters who were killed in a car crash back in 2004 in  when they crashed and it was determined the car had safety problems. They had leased the car through one of the country’s largest car rental companies.

Like many others, I hope and assume that when I go to rent a car I can expect that it would be a safe car without safety recalls pending!  There isn’t a database at the rental car stand so that you can look up each individual model before renting to see if it has any safety defects issued by the manufacturer.  While I applaud the Clayton-based car rental company’s efforts, I am surprised by the fact that offering safe, recall free cars was not already a standard practice.

Again, this scenario is one that many overlook.  While the rental car company just came out in 2012 with this statement that they are going to do the right thing,  in fact,  two deaths and a law suit (2004) had to happen to bring it to public attention.  If you or your family members had rented a car that caused their deaths and you found out that the rental company DID rent cars that had safety recalls pending—-you would be furious!!! I would be!

This is something that I see every day.  It costs money to recall cars and fix the safety recalls even if the manufacturer fixes them for free, however, it is time the car is off the road— not being rented and not generating revenue. Why must someone be seriously injured or killed for companies to do the right thing? It probably crossed the mind of more than one employee of every rental car company that perhaps they should not be leasing cars that have safety recalls pending.

Thanks Enterprise, Hertz, Avis and Dollar Thrifty for getting behind the legislation to make it a law that rental companies must lease cars that do not have safety recalls pending and that will not allow them to sell them within 24 hours to another.  The selling of the car within 24 hours of notification defeats many purposes of the timely safety recall.

As a consumer and  as an attorney, all I can advise you to do is always beware of items that you buy and lease.  In light of this new information, it may impact your planning when traveling. Maybe you will want to lease your car from a rental company that states in writing that they do not lease cars that have safety recalls pending. Or reserve your car in advance, securing the year/make/model so that you may do your own safety recall search online.  That is what I will do in the future.

Hey, manufacturers are human beings and they make errors, thus they issue safety recalls. The idea is that they have a chance to fix the safety problem and provide consumers with as safe product.  Middle people such as car rental companies are supposed to be acting in good faith with the consumer by providing a safe, working vehicle.

If you or a family member has been injured due to a defective product or if you have been in a car crash, you may need legal representation.  Consultations are always free at The Cagle Law Firm where we can listen to your situation and let you know if it is in your best interest to have legal representation—-you do not always need it. Call Zane T. Cagle at 1(314) 276-1681