Report: Rental companies drag heels repairing recalled cars

General Motors
and Chrysler have informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that cars sold to rental companies aren't getting repairs done on recall for months at a time. NHTSA then started monitoring three million units from the two manufacturers in rental fleets to see how long they went unrepaired.

One month after a recall, NHTSA says that between 10 and 30 percent of cars had been repaired. By 90 days, the average was just 30 percent. According to the administration, it takes a year or more for rental companies to get more than 50 percent of their cars repaired.

According to The Detroit News, there aren't any laws on the books that say a rental company has to get a car repaired before it rents it to a customer. What's more, hundreds of recall notices go out a year, and rental cars move around a lot, making it difficult to nail them down for repairs.

According to Bob Barton, president of the American Car Rental Association, most companies place a hold on models that have been recalled, preventing them from being rented until repairs are made. The hitch, according to Barton, is that it can take months for the company to realize a recall has been issued.

NHTSA says its investigation is ongoing, and the administration noted a statement that dealerships aren't allowed to sell a recalled vehicle until repairs have been made. That said, NHTSA also doesn't have the authority to legally require that customers – including rental companies – have recall repairs made.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Hertz Rent-a-Car]

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