The U.S. Congress wants to introduce new legislation that will prohibit any rental-car company or car dealer to loan or sell any recalled vehicle before the necessary repairs have been made.
The new bill, knows as the Rachel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act, is named after two sisters from Santa Cruz, California, who were killed when the car they had rented caught fire and crashed into a tree. Said rental vehicle was affected by a recall but had not been repaired.
While major rental-car companies have agreed to the new legislation since last year, smaller companies and car dealers want to be exempt from the new bill that will include them, too. Existing legislation requires recall repairs to be made only to new vehicles before they are sold.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chief, David Strickland, said: “The agency believes that all vehicles under recall should be promptly repaired – regardless of whether they are new, used, leased or rented.”
According to the NHTSA, there are about 600 vehicle recalls each year, which affect about20 million vehicles.
“Not all recalls are the same”, commented National Automobile Dealers Association spokesman Bailey Wood. “It could be a windshield wiper problem in Death Valley”, he added in order to point out that many recalls are pretty minor and don’t always justify a service.
The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association CEO, Steve Jordan, said that often times independent used car dealers who aren’t affiliated with a new-car dealership aren’t notified about a recall: “Philosophically, we don’t have a problem fixing a vehicle that has an open recall service – as long as we know about it.”
Used car dealers sold 11 million vehicles in 2009. The General Accounting Office has urged the NHTSA to require them to make repairs before selling vehicles that are under recall as “many consumers may be unknowingly putting their lives at risk by purchasing a defective vehicle.”
By Andrew TsaousisStory References: USA Today