The nation's largest car rental companies have agreed to support legislation that bars them from renting a car that is under a recall until it is repaired.
There is no law that requires recalled cars to be repaired, even when those cars are being rented to consumers who assume that the rental cars are in safe operating condition. The issue was brought to light in a dramatic way when the car Raechel and Jacqueline Houck had rented caught fire as a result of a defect that had caused a recall, then crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer and killed the sisters in 2004. Their mother, Cally Houck, has lobbied for a law that would require rental car companies to remove recalled cars from rental fleets until they are repaired.
Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Dollar Thifty Automotive Group as well as Enterprise Holdings, which operates National, Alamo and Enterprise, have all agreed to support the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2012. Together, these companies comprise the majority of the rental car market in the U.S.
Sen. Charles Schumer, one of the sponsors of the act, is hoping it will be approved by the Senate immediately following the November election.
Protecting yourself from the costs of a car accident is just one of the reasons you might need car rental insurance, though the add-on policy doesn't prevent car insurance rates from rising if you are deemed at-fault in an accident.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.