Congress is considering a new bill that would allow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to have jurisdiction over rental car companies when it comes to making necessary recall repairs.
When automakers recall a vehicle, the expectation is that all the cars will have the repairs made. However, reports have shown that rental car companies often only fix a percentage of their vehicles, which may be dangerous for customers.
It's a personal issue for Cally Huock, whose two daughters died in a car fire after their rental car did not have recall work completed. Although Chrysler had recalled PT Cruisers due to the possibility of brake fluid catching fire, Enterprise did not perform the necessary repair and the girls died. Huock later successfully sued Enterprise for $15 million and has been pushing for regulation ever since.
"The rental car industry is the single largest purchaser of new cars, and the single largest source of used cars in North America, yet they have escaped all regulation and oversight from the [NHTSA]," she told USA Today.
Drivers can protect their own vehicles by taking their vehicles in to an auto maintenance expert for inspection. In addition to services like brake repair and oil changes, mechanics can tell a driver if all necessary recall work has been done.