The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into whether car hire companies have been fast enough in repairing recalled vehicles and being careful enough about fixing them before renting them to customers. The agency says they have been informed recently about injuries and deaths stemming from customers driving vehicles that have been recalled but hadn’t been repaired. The investigation focuses on many models from Ford, Chrysler and General Motors that have been recalled and also commonly found in rental fleets.
The Center for Auto Safety filed a formal petition in August with the Federal Trade Commission requesting that Enterprise Holdings be required to remove recalled vehicles from service until they have been fixed. The company operates the Enterprise Rent A Car, Alamo Rent a Car and National Car Rental brands.
This petition stemmed from an October 2004 accident that killed two sisters who were driving a PT Cruiser that had been recalled but booked through the firm. There was an underhood fire risk in the recall, and while the girls were driving, the car caught fire and crashed into an oncoming truck. According to the petition, Enterprise made a settlement in a lawsuit due to the crash. They admitted liability in the case and paid $15 million. The Center for Auto Safety says that once Enterprise gets the official notice of a recall, the vehicles affected should be immediately parked until repaired.
Enterprise announced in January that they were pulling many recalled Toyota vehicles from their hire fleets. They vowed to suspend the cars from service until they were fixed.Author's Google+ page