Rental Car Companies: Recalls and Injuries

Do Rental Car Companies Have to Fix Recalls? What if I am Injured in a Rental Car That Still Has Recalls Pending?

Rental car accidents are not heard of in the news as frequently as other accidents, but that does not mean that they don’t happen. For instance, there was a case involving Jacqueline Houck and her sister Raechel, who were killed when their rental car actually caught on fire. A few months before the accident had occurred, a safety recall had been issued on the vehicle. However, the Enterprise company had failed to follow up and seek repairs to the vehicle. Because of their negligence, power steering fluid leaked into the engine department and a fire started, which lead to the death of the girls. When the parents brought a lawsuit against Enterprise, they were awarded $15 million by a jury. The girl’s mother wondered why a rental company is allowed to legally rent cars without disclosing information about recalls. In this case, the company paid for their negligence.


In 2015, a new amendment passed in the transportation renewal bill from the Senate Commerce that forced rental companies to perform recalls on their vehicles before they are issued to consumers. The point was that all drivers would be able to leave a lot with confidence, knowing that they are driving a safe car that has been rightfully inspected. Big name companies like General Motors and Honda participated in the support for the new legislation. The American Car rental Association, in charge of many rental companies, thought that the laws of the past needed some change. For instance, in the past rental companies only had to warn customers that there was a recall but not actually go forth and fix it.

Your Rights

The truth is, when there are recalls on a vehicle, many companies will work quickly to fix the recall and put vehicles back on the road. No company wants to lose customers by avoiding a recall and throwing it under the tug. However, in the past, manufacturers and sellers alike have actually avoided defect warnings and allowed other’s safety to be at risk.

One of the biggest problems with car recalls is the fact that there is a long waiting time to get vehicles fixed to proper specifications. Federal law requires these big vehicle manufacturers to provide consumers with a recall free of charge within a reasonable amount of time, but that reasonable amount of time can actually turn out to be longer than you expect. This means that hundreds and hundreds of other vehicles sitting at rental company lots are just waiting to be worked on at any given time.

Did you rent a vehicle from a company that was under a recall at the time? Were you injured because of an accident caused by the recall? If so, you have rights and you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. You may need legal representation, so you should call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today for more information.