Injured Due to Delayed Auto Recall Repairs of Rental Cars
- May 8, 2013
- Vehicle Defects
In Texas and nationwide, concerns are being raised over the slow rate at which car rental companies have been repairing auto recall affected vehicles in their fleets.
In response, the NHTSA asked for recall repair documents from Chrysler and General Motors. The documents showed when or if rental companies took recalled vehicles into the dealership to have the vehicle fixed. It was found that many companies waited upwards of one year to get the recalled vehicles in their fleet repaired. In fact, there was no major car rental company that had fixed all of its recall-affected vehicles within a year of the recall.
- Avis/Budget: One year after a recall involving a shift lever indicator problem, Avis Budget had fixed only 34% of seven types of defective vehicles in their fleet.
- Enterprise: Concerning the same recall, Enterprise had repaired 34% of the affected vehicles within 30 days, 52% within 60 days, 62% within 120 days and 74% within a year.
- Hertz: Documents also show that during the same recall, Hertz repaired 18% of the affected vehicles in their fleet within 30 days of the recall, 36% within 120 days and 52% within a year.
Safety advocates point to these documents as proof that rental companies are not doing all they can to repair defective vehicles and ensure that the drivers who rent their vehicles are safe.
When Rental Companies Don’t Repair Recalled Vehicles
In addition to the documents, there have been several accidents in unrepaired rental vehicles that have garnered nation attention. One terrible accident took the lives of two sisters. Raechel and Jacqueline Houch lost their lives when their rental car, a PT Cruiser, caught fire and caused the driver to lose control and crash into a 18-wheeler. The rented PT-Cruiser was under a safety recall for an issue with its power-steering fluid. While a recall had been announced, the car was rented out three other times.
Enterprise admitted their mistake and the family of the accident victims received a large settlement. However, the sisters’ mother, Cally Houck, has not stopped fighting in the names of her daughters. Currently, Houck is pushing for federal legislation that would force the auto-rental industry to follow federal safety regulations. Currently, there is no oversight to ensure that rental car companies get recalled vehicles repaired in a timely manner.
Where to Turn After a Dallas Car Accident
As an injury attorney who often works with victims of auto recall related accidents, I am troubled over the apparent lack of concern for driver safety in the car rental industry. It seems that the companies are more worried about their bottom line than the safety of the customers.
The Dallas auto defect law firm of Guajardo & Marks hopes that very soon car rental companies are forced to take auto recalls seriously. Only then will they be doing their part to prevent accidents caused by auto defects.
If you have been hurt during an accident in Dallas and you believe that an auto defect caused the crash or made it worse, call 972-774-9800 to make an appointment with a personal injury attorney with the experience and results you need.