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How Safe is Your Rental Car?
Before you book you next rental car, you might want to ask the company for their maintenance records. While most rental car companies have maintenance procedures in place to service their vehicles, advocacy groups and congress both feel they are not up to par with where they should be. Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS), a national agency, is pushing for new regulations that would ensure that rental companies uphold safety recalls and maintenance requirements in a more timely fashion. The news station 11Alive put three different cars to the test by renting one each from Enterprise, Hertz, and the Sandfly Express in Atlanta, Georgia.
The cars from all three companies were all brought into Katherine’s Auto Repair in Atlanta, Georgia for a 20-point inspection. The 2006 Chevy Cobalt from the Sandfly Express had the most problems with 18 issues listed including a broken tail light, cracked side mirror, and an airbag sensor problem. A further inspection revealed that the car had been repaired with salvaged parts. The 2013 Avenger from Hertz had overinflated tires and the 2012 Chevy Cruze from Enterprise was low on coolant and dripping transmission fluid.
Enterprise and Hertz both remarked that they rely on their customers to report problems and would be checking on the issues. The Sandfly Express offered a replacement vehicle and compensation. Without specific federal regulations on rentals, it is currently the consumer’s responsibility to ensure that the vehicle they are driving is indeed safe.
And you need to know that if you are pulled over for a safety issue, under current law the consumer would receive the ticket. Be sure to inspect carefully any rental car you reserve.