Push to ban recalled rental cars renewed

Push to ban recalled rental cars renewed
© Think Stock

Lawmakers on Friday renewed a push to ban car rental companies from distributing vehicles that have been recalled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

A measure requiring rental companies to immediately pull recalled cars from their fleets was introduced in both the House and Senate. 

Previous incarnations of the bill have largely languished on Capitol Hill. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The sponsors of the legislation said Friday that the time is right for lawmakers to address the issue after a series of high-profile recalls that affected U.S. and foreign auto manufacturers last year.   

“Whether they come from the renter’s lot or a dealership, cars under recall should be not be on the road until their defect is repaired,” Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIn the next relief package Congress must fund universal COVID testing Ocasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech New poll shows Markey with wide lead over Kennedy in Massachusetts MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. “This common sense legislation closes the dangerous loophole and holds rental companies to the same standard as auto dealers.”

“People who rent cars should do so with the confidence that the vehicles they are driving are safe to drive," Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) added.

The bill bars the rental or sale of cars that are “subject to a safety recall” and authorizes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate and oversee rental car companies’ procedures for safety concerning recalled cars.

The car rental industry initially resisted calls from lawmakers to abide by the legislation before it was passed, but eventually, the major U.S. car rental companies signed on.

ADVERTISEMENT

Auto manufacturers have opposed previous versions of the measure because they say it will have unintended consequences, such as pushing car rental companies to the front of the repair line when auto models are recalled.

The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act is named after sisters who were killed in a 2004 crash involving a rental car that had been recalled. Their mother, Carol Houck, said lawmakers should approve the ban to prevent future accidents like the one that killed her daughters.

 

“It's been over ten years since my beautiful, precious daughters Raechel and Jacqueline were killed by an unsafe, recalled rental car,” Houck said in a statement. 

“All of the major rental car companies, and many of the smaller ones, have been working on our side to make the federal legislation named after them the law of the land,” she continued. “They have also adopted responsible policies and are grounding recalled cars until they are repaired. It's time for Congress to act, to protect all families from suffering our devastating loss.”

The bill is being sponsored by Schumer and Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance Bottom line Polls show big bounce to Biden ahead of Super Tuesday MORE (D-Calif.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocratic-linked group runs ads in Kansas GOP Senate primary Trump mocked for low attendance at rally Missouri county issues travel advisory for Lake of the Ozarks after Memorial Day parties MORE (D-Mo.), and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William Nelson Trump, facing trouble in Florida, goes all in NASA names DC headquarters after agency's first Black female engineer Mary W. Jackson NASA, SpaceX and the private-public partnership that caused the flight of the Crew Dragon MORE (D-Fla.). A companion measure in the House is sponsored by Capps and Reps. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldRep. Clyburn on Confederate statues: Mob action is no answer House passes police reform bill that faces dead end in Senate Black Caucus rallies behind Meeks for Foreign Affairs gavel MORE (D-N.C.), and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).