When most people choose a vehicle to purchase, they consider the vehicle’s safety ratings when making a decision. However, a recent analysis of rental cars shows that consumers typically do not consider safety when renting a car. Most of the vehicles that rental agencies use are highly rated when it comes to protecting against head-on collisions. However, many of the cars are not rated as safe when hit in the side or the rear, or if they are involved in rollover accidents.
Experts recommend that when renting a car, a customer should act as if he or she is buying the car. That’s often easier said than done – vehicles at rental agencies are constantly changing and many models may not be available. In general, if vehicles have the same crash ratings and safety equipment, a larger, heavier vehicle is a safer bet, although they often cost more to rent.
Another issue involved in renting a car in recent years is safety recalls. In 2004, a car rental agency failed to fix a power steering hose defect in a recalled PT Cruiser. That failure led to the death of two sisters whose rental car caught on fire, causing them to lose steering and crash into a tractor trailer. Since then, safety groups have petitioned the FTC to keep that car rental agency from renting cars that have been recalled but not repaired. The company says that it has improved its approach to vehicle recalls. Before renting a vehicle, consumers may want to check to see if there have been any recent recalls and whether any repairs have been done.
Automobile rental companies have also been accused of failing to purchase vehicles with the latest safety features because of the added cost. An investigation found that a rental agency deleted a standard safety feature (side curtain air bags) from Chevy Impalas bought from GM in order to save millions of dollars.
Car rental agencies have a duty to provide safe vehicles for their customers. If you have been injured in a Dallas automobile accident involving a rental car, contact Dallas car accident attorney Kris Barber at 972-231-5805. You could be able to recover against the rental agency, the other driver involved in the accident, or possibly the car’s manufacturer. Call today to learn more.