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Big Car Dealers Get Exempted from Recall Safety Bill

Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Dec 04, 2015 in Car Accidents

used car dealerA Congressional transportation bill that was recently passed included a provision to protect consumers from unsafe automobiles. Unfortunately, it comes with a clause that lets large car dealers off the hook.

The provision, called the Safe Rental Car Act, was introduced in 2012 after two California sisters were killed eight years earlier in a Chrysler PT Cruiser they rented from Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

After the crash, investigators discovered the car had an outstanding recall on the steering wheel, which had not been fixed. The family sued the rental company, and the case eventually went to trial.

Enterprise attempted to smear the name of the deceased 24-year-old victim by claiming she might have been “suicidal or on drugs.” However, the jury found otherwise and a $15 million verdict was handed down in 2010.

The Safe Rental Car Act was created partly in response to this case, and would prevent rental companies from renting out cars that have outstanding recalls or known defects. The bill also includes car dealers who rent or loan cars out.

The exemption to the bill was a reaction to a last-minute amendment made by U.S. Rep. Roger Williams of Texas. His amendment would have let any dealer with more than five rental or loaner cars in stock avoid accountability for defective cars.

Williams stated he is looking out for small businesses who have “suffered” due to government overstep, but offered no words for the parents of the two deceased women. He also happens to own a car dealership.

In order to get the bill passed in both the House and the Senate, Congress increased the required number of cars to 35 to be exempt. Although the mother of the deceased women is celebrating the passage of the bill, she expressed disappointment with the exemption.

Auto dealerships and car rental companies that knowingly sell dangerous cars to consumers should not be let off the hook. The cost for fixing recalled vehicles is not an excuse to put people’s lives at risk.

The experienced product liability attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi have aggressively pursued irresponsible companies on behalf of the victims of their negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to a faulty car, we can advise you of your legal rights. Contact our offices today for a free consultation.

Call (866) 848-7077 today or fill out our online form.