A new law that went into effect June 1, 2016 requires rental cars under recall to be fixed.
It’s legislation a long time in the making. The law means rental car companies must fix any and all open safety defects before renting out vehicles to customers. (Some rental car agencies were already doing so, but not all of them.)
Existing regulations had a much more narrow scope, effectively only prohibiting new-car dealers from selling vehicles with known defects. Some rental companies voluntarily kept their fleets up to date with the latest repairs, however, there had been no legal mandate to follow such practices.
Congress recently passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015, championed by the family of sisters who died in a rental vehicle that had been left unrepaired. Companies with fleets of more than 35 vehicles are now required to fix defects.
“It’s critical that every recalled vehicle, whether new, used, rented or leased, is repaired as soon as possible,” said NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind. “Rental agencies operate some of the largest fleets, so this law will go a long way in ensuring the cars and trucks on the road are safe.”
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has been given expanded authority to enforce the new law, which went into effect June 1.