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New Jersey rental cars may cause wrongful death

Many people use rental cars for various reasons. Some people need one for business and some just want to drive a cool new vehicle on a family vacation. Whatever the reason for using a rental car, most people don't think about the safety of these vehicles before getting behind the wheel. They just assume that these modern vehicles are just as safe as privately owned vehicles of the same model.

The truth is, many of these vehicles have not been properly repaired after recalls have been issued, and some lack common safety features that most people would expect to be standard in a modern vehicle. A lack of regulation of rental cars could cause wrongful deaths in New Jersey of unsuspecting drivers. After hearing of multiple deaths and safety concerns, two senators are now working to propose legislation that would grant a federal agency the right to regulate the rental car industry.

Increasing the safety standards and regulations on rental vehicles can help prevent wrongful deaths in New Jersey and across the country. One woman in another state crashed her rental vehicle into a semi-truck after the car burst into flames after a power-steering fluid system problem went unrepaired despite a recall because of that exact problem. The negligence of the rental company contributed to the wrongful death of the woman's two daughters.

Another driver rolled her SUV that she rented, which was equipped with traction control, even though it could have been an added option for a few hundred dollars. She now suffers from a permanent disability. Even with regulation of the industry companies still need to be held accountable for not putting the safety of their customers first.

Source: USA Today, "Safety advocates: Rental car recalls should be regulated," Gary Stoller, Feb. 21, 2012

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