Are You About to Rent a Car for the Holidays with a Known Defect Subject to Recall?


December 22, 2010

Many people throughout Georgia are busily preparing for the holidays by making travel arrangements including reserving rental cars. What many travelers may not know is that their rental cars may have product defects subject to recall that are not corrected by the rental car company prior to renting the car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into the magnitude of the problem, following a $15 million settlement by Enterprise.

The company admitted to liability in a lawsuit involving a product defect subject to recall, which caused the death of two women in a fatal car wreck. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been helping those seriously injured or killed in Georgia car accidents including those involving defective vehicles for over 25 years.

The NHTSA indicated a number of incidents involving personal injuries and death involving failure to remedy a known safety defect prior to renting a vehicle. The NHTSA is now launching a broad investigation into compliance by rental car companies with safety recalls related to vehicle defects. The NHTSA investigation will focus on approximately three million General Motors, Ford and Chrysler vehicles including 29 models, which are among the most commonly used as rental cars.

The action by NHTSA is largely motivated by a lawsuit involving Enterprise Holdings, which just settled a case for $15 million involving the death of Rachel and Jacqueline Houck. The young women were involved in a fatal collision that was partially caused by a defect that was the subject of a product recall in a Chrysler PT Cruiser. The vehicle had been recalled because a defect created a fire hazard under the vehicle's hood. The vehicle the woman rented was not corrected which led to the women's death when the vehicle caught fire causing the power steering to fail. The women lost control of the vehicle and were involved in a head on crash with a tractor-trailer.

There is currently no law that requires rental car companies to perform recall repairs before a car is rented or sold to a consumer. This means that there are many unsuspecting consumers that rent defective vehicles or buy such vehicles with no idea that the vehicle may be unsafe. If you are planning to rent a car for the holidays, you should ask the rental company if the vehicle is subject to any outstanding recalls. The tragic death of the young women in the Enterprise case shows that driving a rental car subject to a recall that has not been repaired can lead to serious car accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries or death.

If you or someone you love have been involved in a car accident, including one involving a rental car subject to a product recall that was not corrected, Montlick and Associates can help. Our Georgia car accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.