Dec 01

Upgraded RentWorks Ensures Safety Recalls are Handled

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If you rent or lease cars and your fleet consists of 35 or more vehicles, you need this information about safety recalls. The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act took effect recently. This law makes it a violation to rent, loan, or sell defective, unsafe recalled cars until the safety recalls have been repaired.

The act’s namesakes, two sisters ages 24 and 20, died because of an accident in a rental car that had been recalled but not repaired.

Rental car companies purchase the most new cars in North America. They also sell the most used cars. Under the new federal law, rental companies will have to repair millions of used cars.  This is in addition to existing state laws that prohibit dealers from selling unsafe products to the public. 

This new law is the first expansion of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) authority over safety recalls since the agency’s start in the 1960s. Now the NHTSA can issue fines and other sanctions to help prevent tragedies caused by defective vehicles.

Most players in the rental car industry, including Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Dollar-Thrifty, Alamo, National, and the American Car Rental Association, helped persuade lawmakers to vote in favor of the act.  They worked with representatives of the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety and other supporters to pass the new law. General Motors and Honda also supported the bill, unlike other major auto manufacturers.

The Senate and House both rejected auto manufacturers’ attempts to kill the bill. They also voted to legalize rentals and loaners of recalled vehicles with disclosure. This would have blamed victims for accidents, since sellers warned buyers in advance of issues with the cars.

How can Bluebird help with safety recalls on vehicles?

Now that this law is in effect, you’ll need to know which vehicles in your fleet currently have recalls. We can help with that. We just released our latest version, RentWorks 4.1.G. It includes VIN decoding, which is an interaction between the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Authority) and RentWorks. The VIN goes to the NHTSA, and in return we receive specific vehicle information based upon the VIN. RentWorks stores this information for future use. 

We also receive Safety Recall information for the specified vehicle(s) based on the first eight characters of the VIN. RentWorks stores them as pending maintenance alerts. Once activated, these maintenance alerts will ground available vehicles and ground vehicles when they are returned. They will remain grounded until owners satisfy the safety recalls.

Are you ready to get started with RentWorks, or upgrade to the latest version? Call Bluebird today at 800-304-5805, or email sales@barsnet.com for more information.


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