The Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee today passed a measure prohibiting rental car companies from renting, leasing or selling cars subject to a manufacturer recall.
The measure, A3187, was sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli and would prohibit a rental agency from renting a car with a known recall and require care rental companies to notify renters of any safety recall initiated during the rental period.
Burzichelli said there will likely be amendments to the bill as rental companies have requested a different notification standard for cosmetic recalls versus safety recalls.
“I think this is a reasonable approach,” Burzichelli said. “What we are speaking of here is an unsuspecting consumer who could be in possession of a vehicle that may need attention from the manufacturer.”
A violation would fall under the Consumer Fraud Act and would be punishable by a monetary penalty of not more than $10,000 for a first offense and not more than $20,000 for any subsequent offense. The company also could face a cease and desist order from the Attorney General, the assessment of punitive damages, and the awarding of treble damages and costs to the injured party.
Both Hertz and Enterprise rental companies opposed the measure.