An ABC undercover exposé reveals some shocking truths – the policies at most rental car companies are not designed to protect consumers from accidents involving recalled vehicles. Rather, these policies are aimed at getting cars out there, even if they are on the recall list.
The undercover exposé found that some of the biggest rental car companies, including Enterprise Rent a Car, Avis and Hertz don’t have firm policies in place against renting out recalled vehicles to unsuspecting consumers. Enterprise is one rental company that has been at the center of controversy over recalled vehicles. In May, the company lost a wrongful death lawsuit that had been filed against it by the parents of two sisters who were killed in an accident involving a rental car in California.
That car was a 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser that had been recalled a few months earlier, but was rented out by Enterprise. Chrysler had linked that recall to a power steering fluid leak problem that could lead to loss of control of the vehicle. As the two sisters were traveling, the driver lost control of the car, and it burst into flames. The two women were killed instantly.
Enterprise was asked to pay the parents of the two girls $15 million, and the company admitted that it was to blame for the two deaths.Employees of the company testified at the trial that there was no recall policy at the company that prohibited recalled vehicles from being rented to consumers. In fact, the policy was that if there was a demand for cars and there were no other vehicles on the lot, recalled vehicles could be rented out.
There’s no comfort to be had from the fact that it’s not just Enterprise that seems to be indulging in such practices. People tend to have a sense of complacency when it comes to rental cars.It’s clear to Atlanta personal injury lawyers that this complacency is misplaced. For now, the only way to protect yourself from such accidents is to be aware of recalled vehicle models – not an easy thing to do with the sheer number of recalls these days – and avoid renting these.