What makes a rental company, well, a rental company? Seems like a simple question, right? Perhaps it is — however, when considering federal legislation, the devil is in the details.
That was the cause for a lot of tension last week for the National Automobile Dealers Association and the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, along with some of their respective members, who were preparing to see a list of amendments go to a House of Representatives vote to update the DRIVE Act, which recently passed through the Senate.
Among many, many other parts of that bill, one provision in particular, aimed at rental car companies, would prohibit those companies from renting or selling vehicles subject to a safety recall.
An eight-word amendment to clarify that statement, supported by Republican Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, aimed to make it only rental car companies whose business primarily engaged in the business of renting covered rental vehicles, “primarily” being the key word, to be covered by the new recall requirements of the DRIVE Act.
That issue went to a vote last week, and the amendment, along with quite a few others, passed by an overwhelming margin (363-64).
Steve Jordan, NIADA’s chief executive officer, attributed that “victory” in part to the outreach of his association’s members, and NADA's, which also helped voice their collective opposition to Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s proposed bill this past summer, which would have prohibited the sale or lease of used vehicles subject to a recall.
"As it was this summer, this outcome is a testament to our members and their passion for their industry," Jordan said. "This is a classic example of dealers making a difference. They spoke, and their voice was heard. It shows what we can accomplish when we turn our commitment into action."
Keep in mind that this is not the end of the road for the DRIVE Act — the amendments now await approval from a conference committee to reconcile its current version with the Senate version. Stay tuned to Auto Remarketing as we continue to track the situation.