Bob Barton, President of ACRAEvery year, auto manufacturers, together with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, issue hundreds of recalls and service bulletins affecting millions of vehicles in North America, including thousands of our members’ rental cars and trucks. This is done via direct communication between the manufacturers and the rental car companies, NOT via the Association. Further, many members’ practices exceed what is required. Although ACRA does not maintain an industry standard for recalls, and each member company follows its own pre-established operating guidelines, in most cases, members place a “hold” on recalled vehicles so they are not rented until the recall work is completed. Most recalls issued by manufacturers do not require the owner of the vehicle (whether it be a rental company, leasing company or a private individual) to ground a vehicle and cease operation.

According to Clarence Ditlow, Executive Director of the Washington-based Center for Auto Safety, “There can be months of delay between the time a manufacturer notifies NHTSA about a defect and when vehicle owners are informed of a recall. NHTSA could require car makers to notify rental companies sooner.” This would be a positive step towards helping our members in their commitment to  providing customers with vehicles that are safe to drive.