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Defective car legislation aimed at rental car companies

| May 1, 2015 | News Articles |

When people lease a car from a rental car company in Illinois, they expect to receive a vehicle that is safe to drive. Yet that is not always the case. Unfortunately, drivers may receive an unrepaired car that has been recalled by the manufacturer for a safety issue. Not only does this put the driver at risk of getting into a car accident, but a car accident attorney Chicago knows that it also endangers the lives of everyone else on the road. A proposed bill aimed to change this policy has been introduced to the U.S. Senate, and advocates are hopeful that if the bill passes, it will save the lives of innocent motorists across the country.

The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013, was created in the memory of two sisters who lost their lives after renting a car in 2004, according to CNBC News. Unbeknownst to the girls, the rental car they were given had been recalled for a flaw in the power steering hose. The girls were killed when the faulty hose started on fire, causing the car to smash head-on into a tractor trailer.

Proposed changes

Under the proposed bill, rental car companies would be required to follow certain procedures when they receive a recall involving a defective car in their fleet of rental vehicles. This would include the following:

  • The company would have 24 hours to stop all vehicles affected by the recall and ensure that none of these vehicles are loaned or rented out to customers.
  • If the recall involves more than 5,000 vehicles in the company’s fleet, the company has up to 48 hours to have those recalls repaired.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would be able to ensure rental car companies were following proper procedure when handling safety recalls.

In some cases, the manufacturer will identify specific actions that should be taken to remove the safety hazard until certain parts are made available. Rental companies are able to rent out vehicles once these safety precautions are put in place. Just by making these simple changes in policy, a fatal accident and the need for a car accident attorney in Chicago could be avoided.

A dangerous problem

After evaluating the results of a 2007 recall involving a type of Chrysler that had serious brake problems, the NHTSA found that several major rental companies did not fully comply with the recall before renting out the flawed vehicles. According to ABC News, the survey found that 90 days following the recall, one major company had only repaired 65 percent of its vehicles, while another company had repaired 46 percent of the recalled cars.

People who are seriously injured in a devastating car accident involving a rental car may be able to receive compensation with the assistance of a car accident attorney in Chicago.