On June 1, 2016, a new law went into effect aimed at making it safer for motorists to rent a car. The new regulation requires that rental car agencies must ensure that any and all safety defects in vehicles are fixed before the car is rented out to customers. Previously, rental car companies often did not check their fleets for recalls and take the vehicles out of service in a timely manner. This risky behavior of renting out vehicles with known defects has resulted in accidents and even fatalities.
When someone is in a rental car and a crash happens because of a defective vehicle, the victim needs to understand who a claim could be pursued against. With the new safety regulations, victims could potentially take legal action against the rental car company and argue the company was negligent for failing to follow the rules on taking recalled vehicles out of service.
It could also be possible for victims to pursue claims against the car manufacturers who had released the defective vehicles for use by the public. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can provide advice on who should be held accountable and who victims could pursue a claim against when injury occurs.
Preventing Atlanta Car Accidents in Rental Cars
The new regulation was passed as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), in 2015. However, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates the requirements didn’t go into effect until June 1 because rental car companies needed time to adjust to the new requirements imposed upon them. Now that the federal law has gone into effect, car rental companies nationwide are subject to stricter rules. If the company has at least 35 vehicles in its fleet, it is incumbent upon the rental car company to take vehicles out of service until they are repaired when a recall happens.
In 2014, close to 51 million vehicles had safety issues and there were 900 different recalls to address these problems with millions of cars. Car rental companies, unfortunately, were not necessarily taking cars out of service and making fixes when problems existed in cars within their fleet. This had deadly consequences, and in fact the new law was championed by the family of two sisters who died in a rental car accident because of a vehicle defect which had prompted a recall that the rental car company had failed to respond to.
NHTSA has now indicated it will seek 100 percent remedy completion rates when there are open recalls on a car, and hopefully the new regulation will ensure compliance on the part of rental car companies.
Getting Help from an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love is hurt or killed in a collision in a rental car, it is important to determine if there was an active recall which the car rental company failed to address. If the rental company fell short in fulfilling obligations, a claim could potentially be made for damages. Your Atlanta car accident lawyer will help you to make an assessment on who should be held liable for losses.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.