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Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

New Law Requires Car Rental Companies to Repair Defects Before Renting Vehicles to Consumers

When renting a car, we trust that the cars we are driving are safe, no matter how old or new the cars may be.  Many drivers feel lucky when they get to rent a car that is nearly brand new, as new cars tend to have less wear and tear and therefore are in better shape than used cars. However, there are certain defects that exist in even brand new cars that may put drivers at risk.

Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015

Car defects have proven to be deadly, leading the legislature to take action and implement laws that require car rental companies to ensure all defects subject to recall are fixed before such cars can be rented to consumers. The FAST Act took effect on January 1, 2016, and is intended to prevent deadly rental car accidents from occurring. One particular accident may have played a significant role in the implementation of the FAST Act.

As two sisters were driving on their way to visit their mother in a rented vehicle, a defective power steering hose caused smoke to enter the vehicle and cause the driver to swerve across a median into the path of a passing semi-truck. Both sisters lost their lives as a result of the accident. The vehicle’s defect was the root of this accident, as the sister driving the vehicle may not have lost control of the car had the car rental company ensured the vehicle was free of defects and in working order.

The FAST Act Implements Stricter Rules for Car Rental Companies

If car rental companies do not comply with the FAST Act, they may be subject to substantial penalties, as they are putting consumers at risk for suffering injuries or death if defects subject to recall are not fixed before renting such vehicles to the public. Because there have been so many recalls lately, car rental companies have a tough task to take a large portion of their vehicles off the roadway, as they are likely to have a significant number of vehicles subject to recalls. This, in turn, may cause car rental companies to incur additional expenses by purchasing defect-free cars; however, the financial cost is necessary to keep drivers safe.

Even if a car rental company says it has fixed all defective vehicles subject to recall, it is still a good idea to have confirmation in writing that the car you are renting either is (1) not subject to recall, or (2) if the car is subject to a recall, the recall has been addressed, and the vehicle is free of defects.  This type of confirmation will help to protect any driver injured in a car rental accident that may be related to some defect.

Contact the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP Today for Your Free Consultation

No matter what type of car accident you or a loved one has been involved in, if you or your loved one has suffered injuries, it is important to consider how an attorney may be able to help you. Without speaking with an attorney, you may not have all of the important information you need to move forward. If you would like to discuss your legal options with a qualified Long Island Car Accident Attorney, contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today by calling 516-358-6900 to schedule your free consultation.

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