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Hertz Faces Federal Probe Over Renting Recalled Cars

» Posted February 27, 2023Resources | Share This Post

Renting a car? You may want to consider your options.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Hertz for allegedly renting vehicles that have been recalled without first fixing the issues, according to a Politico report. That is a violation of federal motor vehicle safety laws.

“Information gathered by the agency to date, including from vehicle manufacturers, suggests repairs required under multiple NHTSA safety recalls were not made prior to the rental of such affected vehicles to Hertz customers,” NHTSA told Politico in a statement. Hertz told the news outlet that it is cooperating with the probe.

Used car dealers have long been under fire for selling vehicles subject to open recalls. At least 40% of used cars being offered for sale are covered by at least one open recall that has not been addressed, according to the non-profit organization Consumers’ Checkbook and the Consumer Federation of America.

But those dealers are generally not required to make sure the vehicles are fixed before they are sold under current law. Car rental services, like Hertz, are subject to different restrictions.

“Rental car fleets with more than five vehicles were required to fix any safety defects under recall as part of a 2015 law,” Alex Daugherty reports for Politico. That law was  “enacted in part after advocacy from the family of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, two sisters from California who were killed in a 2004 crash while driving a rented PT Cruiser that was under recall for a faulty power steering hose.”

Recalls, California Car Owners’ Rights

The sad fact is that major auto manufacturers recall millions of vehicles every single year, citing a wide range of defects that pose safety risks to drivers, passengers and everyone else on the road.

The recalls often come well after the defective vehicles have been sold to unsuspecting buyers, whether it is a large rental car company or a single family.

As the auto industry shifts to an electric future, carmakers continue to struggle to ensure that their vehicles are safe to drive. A slew of electric vehicles have been called back in recent years over fire and other risks.

That is where the California lemon law comes in. Car owners and lessors in the Golden State do not need to wait for a recall to get defective and malfunctioning vehicles fixed.

Formally known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the lemon law forces car manufacturers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. The law also requires those companies to buy back vehicles that they cannot or will not fix. That includes covering the purchase price, financing fees and other related expenses.

Our Lemon Lawyers Can Help

At Bickel Sannipoli, our California lemon law attorneys have assisted hundreds of clients across the state stuck with defective or malfunctioning vehicles. 

We are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney today.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"I have used this office twice, always a happy ending with them, they are really friendly and helpful. My two experience have been great outcomes. Thank you so much. Nobody else wanted to help me with my first car only The Bickel Law Firm thanks to them I got all my money back and more. That's why I came back for a second time. Great team"
Posted By: Norma Molina