Currently, there is no federal law in effect that requires rental car companies to warn consumers if the vehicle they are renting has been recalled. Next week, the U.S. Senate will consider legislation that will require rental car companies to disclose any recalls to customers. The bill would not require that the cars be taken off the road.
This bill was partially introduced in response to a tragedy that took the life of a 26 year old woman. The woman was killed last year in a 2001 Honda Civic rental car. The rental car was involved in a fairly minor fender bender that deployed the air bag in the vehicle. When the air bag deployed, a metal fragment hit the woman in the neck, causing a three-inch gash. This caused a significant blood loss, which cut off oxygen to the woman’s brain. She eventually died of traumatic brain injury.
The company that manufactured the air bag, Takata Corp., has issued the largest automobile recall in U.S. history due to the defective air bags. The air bags have a tendency to explode upon impact, throwing shrapnel throughout the vehicles. The recall includes 34 million vehicles in the U.S. Eight deaths have been linked to the air bags so far. Of the eight deaths, only one, the death of the 26 year old woman, has been linked to a rental car.
If you are planning to use a rental car, it would be a good idea to make sure the car you are renting has not been recalled before you rent it. This can be done at safercar.gov. If you are involved in an accident involving a defective rental car, you may have a legal case against both the automobile’s manufacturer, as well as the rental agency.
Call the Dallas-Fort Worth automobile accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 972-231-5800. We can help you with your case. Call today to schedule your free consultation.