When you rent a vehicle—usually on a vacation or business trip or when your own car is being repaired—you expect to receive a well-maintained vehicle that does not have any repair problems. You also wouldn’t want to rent a vehicle that is subject to a recall—like the massive Takata airbag or the GM ignition switch recalls. Unfortunately, it is not illegal to rent one to unsuspecting consumers.
How to Check to See If Your Rental Vehicle Is Under Recall
Major car rental companies—like Avis, Dollar Rent a Car, and Hertz—have been found to have rented out vehicles subject to recalls that were not fixed. Vehicles are only recalled when manufacturers and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) discover manufacturing defects leading to serious injuries and deaths. Consumers driving rental cars with recalled parts are unknowingly putting themselves at risk of suffering more serious injuries or death if they are involved in an accident. However, you can check to see if your rental vehicle is subject to an open recall by doing the following:
- Go to NHTSA’s recall look-up page and enter the rental vehicle’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) to learn if the vehicle is subject to a recall and has not been repaired.
- You cannot obtain information on completed safety recalls, manufacturer non-safety recall campaigns, or recent safety recalls where all the VINs have not been provided.
A U.S. Senate committee recently rejected a proposed law that would have specifically allowed rental companies to rent recalled vehicles. Instead, they unanimously approved a proposed bill that would ban this practice. It is unclear when or whether this legislation will become law.
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