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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012

Rental agencies' new policy on recalled vehicles



By Clark Howard


The nation's five major car rental companies have agreed to no longer sell or lease vehicles that have been recalled for safety issues.

The decision by Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Dollar Thrifty, and National is a no-brainer in my book. But in the past, the rental agencies were not taking recalled cars out of their fleet for repair, either while they were in use or before they were ready to sell them.

The bigger issue here, of course, becomes recalls in general.

When a car is recalled for serious safety issues, I've heard that some 35% to 40% of cars are never brought in for the free repair. That's a dangerous game of roulette that you don't want to play.

Without obsessing over it, there's an automatic and easy way for you to know if there's a serious issue with the car you own. SaferCar.gov offers a recall notification email system for free. If a recall happens on your specific car, you'll get an email. Otherwise, they won't bother you.

So log on today and set up a recall alert. Motorcyclists can even enter their make and model of bike or helmet and get alerts.