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NHTSA is investigating Hertz over alleged rentals of recalled cars

NHTSA is investigating Hertz over alleged rentals of recalled cars

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The NHTSA has launched an investigation into rental giant Hertz for allegedly renting open-recall vehicles to customers, in violation of a federal law that makes it illegal for rental chains with fleets of 35 vehicles or more to rent an open-recall car .

The agency’s Office of Defect Investigations issued a notice Tuesday saying it has received information that suggests Hertz has been leasing Ford and Nissan vehicles with open recalls to customers.

“NHTSA is opening this audit request to investigate whether The Hertz Corporation (Hertz) has complied with the requirements of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Safety Act). One of the requirements of the Safety Act is that a rental company must not rent a vehicle that is subject to a safety recall unless the recall has been conducted. 49 USC § 30120(i),” the statement said.

“NHTSA receives information that indicates Hertz vehicles have been rented to customers without performing required recall repairs. Accordingly, we are opening this review request for additional information on this issue,” she concluded.

Renting vehicles with an open recall was made illegal by the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, passed by Congress in December 2015 and signed into law by then-President Obama. It came into effect the following year.

Hertz also recently came under fire over customers being arrested for allegedly stealing cars they had already returned. The company agreed to pay out $168 million in a settlement to more than 350 people it falsely accused of theft because the company claimed it was merely an “inventory malfunction.”

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