A bill that would require vehicles under safety recalls to be grounded from rental fleet use is being introduced again by a group of senators.
If it becomes law, the bill will prevent cars under a safety recall from being rented while imposing time limits on the rental companies to ground those vehicles. The new rules would require affected vehicles to be pulled as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after receiving notice of the recall. That time period is extended to 48 hours if the recall affects more than 5,000 units in a fleet.
A bi-partisan group of senators — one republican and three democrats — reintroduced the bill.
Early last year, Hertz began appealing to the U.S. government to enforce vehicle repairs among rental fleets.
That move came years after two sisters from Santa Cruz, Calif. were killed in a crash after a rented Chrysler PT Cruise caught fire because of a defect recognized under a recall. A bill was introduced to prevent similar incidents in the future, but it didn’t pass.
Despite the bill not becoming law after its initial introduction, rental car companies Enterprise Holdings, Avis Budget Group and Dollar/Thrifty agreed alongside the American Rental Car Association agreed to support legislation that would bar the practice.
This new bill has the same goal. It also specifies that the company may continue renting the vehicle if the manufacturer’s recall notice includes temporary steps to eliminate a safety risk as long as those measures are taken. The company is also required to carry out the repair as soon as the parts are available.
[Source: The Detroit News]