Rental Car Deaths Force National Law Change A Decade Later

Over a decade ago two young Santa Cruz, California women driving a rental vehicle lost their lives in a tragic car accident. On the highway, the rental car swerved over the median and collided with an 18 wheeler. The cause of the crash was not an issue of driving, but one of negligence. The car had been recalled for loss of power steering years ago but the rental company had never bothered to fix it and continued to rent it out to customers. What they did at the time was not illegal, but thanks to a new law this month, needless deaths will be avoided in the future.

 No More Defective Rental Cars

Beginning June 1st, 2016, rental car agencies must fix any and all open safety defects before renting out vehicles to customers. Previously there was no requirement under federal that rental car agencies fix open safety defects. This means that rental car agencies will no longer be able to rent them out to customers before fixing them and making sure that they are safe. In addition to this new requirement, the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) will now have the power to investigate and punish rental car companies who violate car safety laws.

The incident that sparked the passing of the new law is not just a minor and standalone incident. In 2014 alone, there were close to 900 recalls affecting 51 million vehicles nationwide. While many of these issues may be minor, others have the potential for life ending consequences.

 Millions of Bad Airbags Across the Country

A good example of this is the current Takata airbag recall. The recall, the largest ever auto recall in history, affects over 34 million vehicles on the road from nearly two dozen brands. At issue in the recall is a defective part in the airbag called the inflator. The inflator is supposed to rapidly expand the airbag in the event of a vehicular collision. It does this by sparking a chemical reaction in the airbag that causes the gases to expand.

When the airbag works properly, an airbag will prevent serious injury and death in the event of a front facing collision. When a defective Takata airbag expands, it sends shrapnel through the airbag into the face of the driver, causing serious lacerations to over 100 people and 10 deaths in the United States so far.

 Recalled Cars Are Dangerous; Consult with a San Bernardino Auto Accident Attorney

Defective car parts only increase the risk of serious injury and death in a car accident. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident that involved a recalled vehicle, there may be a question of liability on the part of the manufacturer of the vehicle and the car part. It takes an experienced auto accident attorney to properly investigate these types of claims. Do not wait to consult with a San Bernardino personal injury attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Justin King. Our skilled staff can help you with all of your auto accident claim needs. You can learn more about our Products Liability Representation or contact us for a no cost, no obligation case analysis.