Rental-Car Companies Disagree Over How to Handle Recalls
Hertz has agreed to federal legislation preventing rentals and sales of unrepaired cars, but 3 other companies have not.
Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., have made little headway since introducing the bill in July. So far, only Hertz has pledged to not sell or rent such vehicles after Boxer sent letters last month to the four major companies. Dollar and Thrifty did not agree to the policy, while Avis said it fixes recalled vehicles "as soon as practically possible." Enterprise, which also runs Alamo and National, said it would support such a law if exemptions -- such as for recalls involving incorrect door stickers -- were included, according to the report. The company said it already doesn't rent cars that have been recalled.
The legislation was drafted after a fatal accident involving a rented car from Enterprise, in which an unrepaired, recalled 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser caught fire and caused two sisters to crash into a truck. Boxer said she will not amend the legislation in favor of the rental-car companies.
In 2010, Enterprise was caught selling used General Motors sedans without side airbags -- a fleet-only "delete" option from the factory that saved the company millions -- while labeling the cars as if they had them. General Motors has since dropped the option, and Enterprise was forced to pay a $14 million class-action settlement.
As the national rental fleet ages -- a cost-cutting move that has put older vehicles with upwards of 40,000 miles on lots -- some consumer advocates say the need to track recalls may be more prevalent. "If recalled cars don't get fixed by the rental companies, they probably don't get fixed," Pamela Gilbert, a former executive director of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Most rental companies look to spend the least amount of money on their fleet vehicles as possible.
I remember seeing an inter-office memo once that advised the satellite fleet operators not to have any service work performed on the vehicles, period. The memo went on to advise managers to replace the oil filter and fill the car with oil should it have a failure, then tow it to the dealer.
Unfortunately, for them, I was from "the dealer" and they got into a lot of hot water about it.
But, I don't doubt they probably are still doing it.
There is no valid argument against "legislation that would require rental-car companies to halt sales and rentals on unrepaired vehicles facing recalls". Enterprise is clearly a major offender and knows it, if their only retort is to have exemptions to the law for things like "recalls involving incorrect door stickers". Come on, rental companies - Just how scared are you of your investors?
If the law cannot be passed, consumers should at least see a list of compliant companies on travel sites (Travelocity, Expedia, etc.) so that they may select those providers who follow proper business practices.
Yea right.......lol. Like when there where lots being rented all over the counrty to stash Toyota Camery`s with thier "unintended acceleration". No "fleet budgets with untimely repairs, costly downtime for recalls and fixing the same subpar engineering problems time and again" there. Funny how all you fanboy`s forget so quickly.
Did you know your screen name translates to "pimp"? Its no big suprise you're so interested in rental fleets.
EXPLORE NEW CARS
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at email@example.com.