Several U.S. senators are backing legislation on the Hill that would make it illegal for rental companies to lease or sell vehicles to consumers that are under manufacturer recall. Surprisingly, while it is illegal for automobile dealerships to sell vehicles that are under manufacturer recall, a loophole in the law currently allows rental agencies to rent or sell potentially dangerous recalled vehicles.
The personal injury liability attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville have learned that the just introduced legislation is called the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013. The bill was named for two sisters who died in a fiery and preventable wreck while driving a rental vehicle that had been recalled. The car they rented in 2004 had been recalled because a leak could cause a fire in the engine compartment.
The rental car company received the vehicle recall notice a full month before the tragedy, but rented the un-repaired car to the sisters nonetheless – with tragic results.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York), who supports the bill, told Associated Press (AP), “Rental car companies are rolling the dice with passengers’ lives each and every time they rent a car that’s under recall. The practice has already proved tragic.”
Schumer said that while most rental companies have changed their policies concerning renting or selling recalled vehicles, he emphasized that a law is needed to ensure that “recalled cars are never again driven off of rental lots.”
According to AP, a similar bill has been introduced in the House.
Amazingly, sometimes legislation designed to protect consumers from injury or death doesn’t see the light of day. The law firm of Farah & Farah hopes this proposed law isn’t one of those. If you have been injured, or if you have lost a loved one, due to the negligence of a company or institution, you should know what your legal options are. We can be reached at (800) 533-3555 – or simply connect with a representative online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.