Zipcar Fined for Allowing Customers to Rent Vehicles with Unrepaired Recalls


Summary: Car-sharing company, Zipcar, has been fined $300,000 for violating federal motor safety law by allowing customers to rent vehicles with open recalls. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) imposed the civil penalty and stated that this is their first enforcement action against a rental car company over recalls. NHTSA emphasizes that vehicles with unrepaired recalls pose a safety risk and they will continue to protect the public from such defects.

Zipcar, a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, has been fined $300,000 after the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) discovered that the car-sharing company permitted customers to rent vehicles with open recalls, which is a violation of federal motor safety law. This action marks the NHTSA’s first enforcement against a rental car firm regarding recalls.

Ann Carlson, the Acting Administrator of NHTSA, stated that vehicles with open, unrepaired recalls pose a safety risk to everyone on the road. She added that the NHTSA will use its full enforcement authorities to protect the public from safety defects in their personal vehicles or in rental vehicles.

The consent order requires Zipcar to pay $300,000 in civil penalties, with half of the amount paid upfront and the remaining $150,000 deferred and potentially payable if there are future violations. Additionally, the company must submit an audit of all Zipcar vehicles with open recalls within 150 days of the consent order and update employee training materials to ensure compliance with recall policies.

In response to the consent order, Zipcar has expressed its commitment to the safety of its members and stated that it takes manufacturer recalls seriously. Zipcar claims to have made various improvements to its recall policies and procedures since 2018, when the NHTSA initiated an investigation into the company. The investigation was prompted by information that Zipcar had rented at least one vehicle without making necessary repairs after a recall. Based on the NHTSA’s inquiry, it was found that certain vehicles with unrepaired recalls were indeed rented through Zipcar.

Zipcar allows customers to rent vehicles on an hourly or daily basis.

Tags: Zipcar, fine, vehicle recalls, safety, NHTSA, regulation, enforcement action