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Rentals missing 'standard' safety equipment

orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 116
edited August 2014 in Buick
The Kansas City Star has revealed that General Motors allowed Enterprise Rental and other large fleet buyers to 'delete' side airbags on the factory floor.

For three years, Enterprise car-rental has ordered new vehicles, including Chevrolet Cobalt & HHR, Buick LaCrosse, and mostly Chevrolet Impalas, deleting the side curtain airbags that otherwise came standard.

As the cars were 'retired' and sold off, many of the cars were misrepresented to buyers as being equipped with the standard safety equipment which was never installed. Without the side airbags, these vehicles do not provide the level of safety protection they were advertised as providing.

Enterprise has offered plaintiffs $100 vouchers and yellow stickers which read 'NO SIDE CURTAIN AIRBAGS'. No word on why Enterprise did not simply place the yellow warning stickers on the sub-standard vehicles prior to offering them For Sale.

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited September 2010
    I think this practice has been going on for more than three years and I think other rental companies besides Enterprise have been doing it. It probably happens with big private fleet purchases too, and those cars often wind up being sold to employees or at auction.

    A typical buyer would assume that buying a used car at one of heavily advertised captive rental car lots would mean that the standard safety features available would come on the car.

    If anything, when you rent an unfamiliar car when you travel to an unfamiliar place, you really should have more safety features, not less.
  • for years gm has had side airbag delete and xm radio delete for fleets. you can tell they dont have the airbags because of vin number and they do not say airbag in the usual places. but i guess to the untrained eye you wouldnt know theidfference.
  • Not 100% fool proof but the majority of rental units came without Onstar.
    Just look at the interior rearview mirror- A dead giveaway, The Onstar equipped mirrors have their own special silhouette.

    Online listings for these car often show interior pictures, but conveniently don't show the interior rear view mirror.
    Chances are, its an ex-rental. Ask.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    edited November 2010
    $100, 100 bucks? Are you kidding me?
    The difference in insurance premium if picked up by the insurer via the VIN would likely be hundreds of dollars per year.
    Add in the fact that OnStar is used as part of theft deterrent and locator, the premiums go up even more, especially in high theft areas.

    I'd say time for a class action and punitive damages to any group such as these car rentals that act as dealers.
    Buying newer vehicles you expect standard equipment to be present and working, including OnStar.
    And quite sure I would not want a rental with missing safety equipment. Many accidents occur with new to the driver vehicles simply because it takes time to learn a vehicle.
  • I could care less about the lack of OnStar. It just saves me the trouble of cancelling it but the lack of an air bag is important. I'd also like the ability to get XM Radio. It will be important for all of us who purchase 'Program" vehicles from a GM dealer to double check for XM, OnStar (for those who care about having it) and airbags. I'll make sure that any Malibu I buy (I'm looking for one next spring) will be a one owner certified 09 or 10, not an ex-rental car.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Also be on the lookout when it comes to vehicles that go through wholesale. There is one 09 out there you don't want.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    "NHTSA opened its "fleet vehicle recall completion audit" Thursday. It noted that among the complaints about rental-car company practices was a petition filed in August with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by the Center for Automotive Safety and Carol Houck. Houck is the mother of two young women who were killed in 2004 after Enterprise Rent-A-Car rented them a PT Cruiser that had been recalled for potential under-hood fires, but which Enterprise had not repaired.

    The car caught fire, causing an accident in which the women died. Enterprise admitted liability, according to the Center for Automotive Safety, and in June, a jury rendered a verdict against the company for $15 million. "

    NHTSA Opens Investigation of Rental Car Companies' Handling of Recalls (Edmunds Daily)
This discussion has been closed.