A rental car company has agreed to a pay a civil penalty after a federal safety regulator found it rented recalled vehicles that hadn’t been repaired.
Zipcar agreed to a consent order with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that includes a $300,000 civil penalty. It’s the regulatory agency’s first enforcement action against a rental car company over recalls since a 2015 law banned renting unrepaired recalled vehicles.
NHTSA started investigating Zipcar on the matter in 2018, and the agency said the company has indicated it has since improved its recall policies and procedures, including not allowing unrepaired recalled vehicles to be rented.
The company will pay half the NHTSA penalty within 30 days and may have to pay the rest and additional penalties if it violates federal vehicle safety regulations or conditions of the consent order during the term of the order.
“Vehicles with open, unrepaired recalls pose a safety risk to everyone on the road. NHTSA takes violations of the Safety Act very seriously,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson in a statement on the consent order.
“The agency will continue to use the full scope of its enforcement authorities to protect the public from safety defects in their personal vehicles or in a vehicle they rent.”
Zipcar agreed in the consent order to give NHTSA an audit report of all its rental vehicles with open recalls within 150 days after the consent order’s effective date, plus make compliance-safety updates to its employee-training materials. It will also update its recall compliance procedures, subject to NHTSA review.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today