Hawaii Mom Blog: Rental Car Recalls




April 25, 2024

Rental Car Recalls

Whenever we rent a car, the first thing I do once a car is selected is to check the VIN for any unrepaired recalls, as I once saw a news segment about it, and ever since, I make sure to check it.  I look for the VIN and type it into https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls.  

Majority of the time, I'll get a notice like the below, that says "0 Unrepaired Recalls."

But there have been times where we plugged in a VIN to get an unrepaired recall notice.  It has happened three times, all at the same rental car company, coincidentally.  

The first time, almost 10 years ago, we easily swapped cars.  The second time, 2 years ago, the recall was for a child car seat latch, and since it didn't apply (we had no car seats), we felt the vehicle was safe to drive.

The third time (last year), however, the team members almost didn't let us swap the car.  The below was the recall notice, and even after advising the employee, she said "we don't see it in our system, it must've been fixed."  But as the recall notice clearly stated, "remedy not yet available."  

She reluctantly brought over another car, and oddly said that she couldn't keep bringing over more cars for us to check.  

Fortunately, the car that was brought over had no recalls, and I since learned that there is an actual law that prohibits rental car agencies from renting out cars with unrepaired recalls, when there is no way to eliminate the safety risk imposed (so she would have had to brought out another vehicle if the new one also had an unrepaired recall).

Check the VIN whenever renting a car, and be persistent in getting a new car if there is an unrepaired recall.  

And if you have any trouble, simply refer the employees to the Rental Car Safety Recall Law:  the https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1173.

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