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113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-253
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 561

 
        RAECHEL AND JACQUELINE HOUCK SAFE RENTAL CAR ACT OF 2013

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                 S. 921




               September 15, 2014.--Ordered to be printed


       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                    one hundred thirteenth congress
                             second session

             JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia, Chairman
 BARBARA BOXER, California            JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
 BILL NELSON, Florida                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi
 MARIA CANTWELL, Washington           ROY BLUNT, Missouri
 MARK PRYOR, Arkansas                 MARCO RUBIO, Florida
 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire
 AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota             DEAN HELLER, Nevada
 MARK BEGICH, Alaska                  DANIEL COATS, Indiana
 RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut      TIM SCOTT, South Carolina
 BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii                 TED CRUZ, Texas
 ED MARKEY, Massachusetts             DEB FISCHER, Nebraska
 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey              RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
 JOHN WALSH, Montana

                     Ellen Doneski, Staff Director
                     John Williams, General Counsel
              David Schwietert, Republican Staff Director
              Nick Rossi, Republican Deputy Staff Director
               Rebecca Seidel, Republican General Counsel


                                                       Calendar No. 561
113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-253

======================================================================




        RAECHEL AND JACQUELINE HOUCK SAFE RENTAL CAR ACT OF 2013

                                _______
                                

               September 15, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Rockefeller, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 921]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 921) to amend chapter 301 of 
title 49, United States Code, to prohibit the rental of motor 
vehicles that contain a defect related to motor vehicle safety, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the 
bill do pass.

                       Purpose of the Resolution

  The purpose of S. 921, the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe 
Rental Car Act of 2013, is to amend chapter 301 of title 49, 
United States Code, to prohibit the rental of a motor vehicle 
that contains a defect related to motor vehicle safety. 
Currently, rental companies are not federally mandated to 
repair safety defects or to comply with Federal safety 
standards following a safety recall.

                          Background and Needs

  S. 921 is named for Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, two sisters 
who were killed in 2004 while unknowingly driving an unrepaired 
rental car that had been recalled for a power-steering hose 
defect. The car caught fire because of the defect while on the 
highway, causing a loss of steering and a head-on collision 
with a semi-trailer truck. Enterprise later conceded that its 
negligence was the sole proximate cause of the fatal injuries.
  Current legal requirements for rental companies in the event 
of a safety recall differ from those for automobile 
manufacturers and dealers. In the case of a safety recall, the 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) places the initial burden on 
manufacturers and dealers. Manufacturers must notify the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of 
vehicle defects and provide: a clear description of the defect; 
an evaluation of the safety risk; the measures to be taken to 
remedy the defect; a statement that the manufacturer will 
remedy all defects without charge; and the earliest date by 
which the remedy for the defect will be available to consumers. 
The manufacturer must then notify all owners of the affected 
vehicles and provide information about the process for 
remedying the defect in question. While NHTSA has the authority 
to mandate safety recalls if it finds a safety defect or 
noncompliance in violation of Federal safety standards, that 
authority is rarely used and virtually every recall has been 
issued on a voluntary basis.
  Federal law also requires automobile dealers to remedy any 
safety recalls prior to selling new vehicles. Once a vehicle 
has been sold to an end user--whether to consumers or large 
purchasers such as rental companies--there is no legal 
obligation on vehicle owners to remedy defects. NHTSA may 
direct the manufacturer to issue additional notices to owners 
who do not remedy such defects, but the decision about whether 
to take advantage of the no-cost repair is left to the owner's 
discretion.
  In 2011, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a 
report examining NHTSA's recall process and described the 
actions of rental companies subsequent to the receipt of safety 
recall notices:
                [A]lthough they are not required to remedy a 
                defect, [the rental companies interviewed for 
                this report] have developed a system for 
                dealing with recalls. One company described a 
                two-tiered system to address safety defects in 
                which vehicles are placed on a ``soft-hold''--
                meaning that the cars can still be rented but 
                will be put in the queue for service--if the 
                defect is not a safety issue. If the defect is 
                a safety issue, these vehicles will be placed 
                on a ``hard-hold''--meaning that the cars will 
                be taken out of service immediately and will 
                not be rented until the repair has been made. 
                Each of the rental companies described a 
                similar system that they used to address recall 
                safety issues.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Government Accountability Office, Auto Safety: NHTSA Has Options 
to Improve the Safety Defect Recall Process, GAO-11-603, June 15, 2011.

  NHTSA wrote to all of the major rental companies requesting 
information about their processes and received responses 
similar to GAO. As reported in the New York Times, a Hertz 
executive noted in the company's response that it could be 
difficult to determine which recall was ``a true safety 
recall.''\2\ NHTSA responded at the time:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\``Faced With Recalls, Rental Companies Sometimes Decide to 
Wait,'' New York Times, April 19, 2011, at http://
wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/faced-with-recalls-rental-
companies-sometimes-decide-to-wait.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                All safety recalls resulting from defects 
                present an unreasonable risk to safety and we 
                believe it is inappropriate to suggest that 
                some defects are not risky enough to require 
                repair. For the safety of the motoring public, 
                all recalled vehicles should be fixed 
                promptly.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Id.

  Since that time, the major rental companies have changed 
their policies, establishing internal procedures to prevent the 
rental of recalled vehicles until they are repaired.

                         Summary of Provisions

  S. 921, in effect, would require rental companies to abide by 
prohibitions similar to those already in place for automobile 
dealers and manufacturers by expanding MVSA's current 
prohibition on the sale or lease of new vehicles under recall 
to include the rental or sale of such vehicles by rental 
companies.
  Under the legislation, rental companies would be required to 
ground any affected vehicles in their fleet within 24 hours of 
receipt of a manufacturer's recall notice. Rental companies 
would be allowed up to 48 hours to comply with this requirement 
if the recall notice affects more than 5,000 vehicles in their 
fleets. The requirements of S. 921 would apply to companies 
that rent vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less (i.e., cars, 
pickup trucks, vans, and sport-utility vehicles) from fleets 
consisting of 5 or more vehicles, and for terms of less than 4 
months.
  If a remedy for a defect or noncompliance is not immediately 
available, S. 921 would permit rental companies to rent out 
recalled vehicles if they perform temporary repairs that are 
specified in the manufacturer's recall notice and eliminate the 
safety risk. The bill would also prohibit rental companies from 
selling vehicles under a safety recall except when those 
vehicles are to be titled as ``junk.''
  Additionally, the legislation would expand MVSA's prohibition 
on disabling safety features on vehicles to cover rental 
vehicles, and would further expand inspection, investigative, 
and record-keeping requirements to cover rental companies. 
Finally, S. 921 would direct the Department of Transportation 
to study the effectiveness of the bill and whether its 
provisions should be similarly applied to rental trucks.

                          Legislative History

  Senator Schumer introduced S. 921 on May 9, 2013, with seven 
original cosponsors: Senators Blumenthal, Boxer, Casey, 
Feinstein, Gillibrand, McCaskill, and Murkowski. It is 
identical to legislation introduced by Senator Schumer in 
December 2012. The bill has received support from consumer 
groups and both major and smaller rental companies.
  On May 21, 2013, the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, 
Product Safety, and Insurance of the Senate Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a legislative 
hearing on S. 921. On July 30, 2013, in an open Executive 
Session, the Committee considered the bill and reported S. 921 
favorably by voice vote. No amendments were filed.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 921--Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013

    S. 921 would prohibit rental car companies from leasing 
vehicles that are subject to a safety recall until the reason 
for the recall has been fixed. Under current law, the National 
Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) within the 
Department of Transportation (DOT) has jurisdiction over 
vehicle safety recalls. The bill would require NHTSA to 
complete a study about the effect of the legislation on rental 
car companies and to issue new rules to implement the 
legislation.
    Based on information from NHTSA, CBO estimates that 
implementing S. 921 would cost $2 million over the 2014-2018 
period, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. 
Because the bill would impose civil penalties on rental car 
companies that violate the law, S. 921 could affect revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO 
estimates that any penalties collected under the bill would not 
be significant.
    S. 921 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no 
costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The bill would impose private-sector mandates, as defined 
in UMRA, on rental car companies because it would prohibit 
those companies from selling or renting vehicles that are 
subject to a safety recall until the defect is fixed. Under the 
bill, rental car companies would be required to stop renting 
such vehicles within 24 or 48 hours of receiving a recall 
notice, depending on the size of the fleet that would be 
affected. Additionally, those companies would be subject to 
inspections and reporting requirements. According to industry 
sources, the current practices and policies of the rental car 
companies comprising most of the industry are consistent with 
the provisions in the bill. In addition, much of the industry 
already tracks the information that would likely be requested 
under the reporting requirements. Because such a large share of 
businesses in the industry already abide by most of the 
requirements in the bill, CBO estimates that the incremental 
cost to comply with the bill's private-sector mandates would 
fall below the annual threshold established in UMRA ($150 
million in 2013, adjusted annually for inflation).
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Sarah Puro 
(for federal costs) and Amy Petz (for the private-sector 
impact). The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:
  The bill, as reported, would require car rental companies to 
ground those vehicles that are under safety recall until the 
recall is repaired. It would subject rental companies to auto 
safety requirements. And it would authorize the Department of 
Transportation to issue regulations, as appropriate, to 
implement the requirements of the bill.

                       NUMBER OF PERSONS COVERED

    The legislation would apply to rental companies that rent 
out or sell vehicles in the United States weighing 10,000 
pounds or less and that have fleets consisting of 5 or more 
rental vehicles for terms of less than 4 months.

                            ECONOMIC IMPACT

    This legislation is not expected to have an adverse 
economic impact on the Nation. It would impact rental companies 
to the extent that they change their business practices in 
order to ground vehicles subject to a safety recall until the 
vehicles are repaired.

                                PRIVACY

    S. 921 would not have a negative impact on the personal 
privacy of individuals.

                               PAPERWORK

    The Committee does not anticipate a major increase in 
paperwork requirements for private individuals or businesses 
due to S. 921. The bill itself does not call for any such 
increases, but the Department of Transportation would be 
authorized to issue regulations implementing the Act and may 
establish paperwork requirements through those regulations. The 
bill would create new reporting requirements for the Department 
of Transportation. It would authorize the Secretary of 
Transportation to conduct a study of the effectiveness of the 
Act as well as any other activities of rental companies related 
to their use and disposition of motor vehicles. It would 
further call on the Secretary to evaluate the completion of 
safety recall remedies on rental trucks.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

  The bill, the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car 
Act of 2013, is named after Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, 
sisters from Santa Cruz, California, who were killed when an 
unrepaired recalled car they had rented caught fire because of 
the unrepaired defect and crashed into a semi-trailer truck.

Section 2. Definitions.

  The bill would define a ``covered rental vehicle'' as one 
that has a gross vehicle rating of 10,000 pounds or less, is 
rented without a driver for an initial term of less than 4 
months, and is part of a fleet of 5 or more rental vehicles.
  A ``rental company'' would be defined as an entity engaged in 
renting covered rental vehicles from a fleet of 5 or more 
rental vehicles.

Section 3. Remedies for defects and noncompliance.

  The bill would apply the MVSA restriction on selling or 
leasing new vehicles subject to a safety recall to sales by 
rental companies. It further would expand the prohibition to 
prevent the rental of a vehicle subject to a recall.
  To accommodate practical considerations that would affect 
implementation by the rental vehicle industry, the bill would 
set forth some unique provisions specific to rental vehicles:

           When a rental company receives a notice from 
        a manufacturer about a recall, the company will be 
        required to ground the affected vehicles as soon as 
        possible but no later than 24 hours after receiving the 
        notice. For those recalls that affect more than 5,000 
        vehicles in a company's fleet, the company will have up 
        to 48 hours to ground the vehicles.
           Occasionally, a manufacturer's recall notice 
        will specify action that can be taken to make the 
        vehicle safe to operate until parts are available. In 
        these instances, rental companies will be permitted to 
        take such action and continue renting the affected 
        vehicles until parts are available.
           Rental companies will be prohibited from 
        selling an automobile subject to a recall unless the 
        defect or noncompliance has been remedied. The one 
        exception is for automobiles that are so badly damaged 
        that they are sold with a junk title. A junk automobile 
        is defined as incapable of operating on public roads 
        and has no value except for parts or scrap.

Section 4. Making safety devices and elements inoperative.

  The bill would expand the existing prohibition on disabling 
safety features in an automobile to cover rental companies.

Section 5. Inspections, investigations, and records.

  The bill would expand NHTSA's existing inspection, 
investigative, and record-keeping requirement authorities to 
cover rental companies.

Section 6. Research authority.

  The bill would give the Secretary of Transportation the 
authority to conduct a study of the effectiveness of the 
provisions of this law and other rental company activities.

Section 7. Study.

  The bill would require the Secretary of Transportation to 
evaluate the completion of safety recall remedies on rental 
trucks.

Section 8. Public comments.

  The bill would require the Secretary of Transportation to 
solicit comments on implementation from various stakeholders, 
including rental companies, consumer groups, auto 
manufacturers, and auto dealers.

Section 9. Rulemaking.

  The bill would give the Secretary of Transportation the 
authority to promulgate rules necessary to implement the Act.

Section 10. Effective date.

  The bill would become effective 180 days after the date of 
enactment.

                        Changes in Existing Law

  In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill, 
as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new material is printed 
in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown 
in roman):

                        TITLE 49. TRANSPORTATION


             SUBTITLE VI. MOTOR VEHICLE AND DRIVE PROGRAMS

                   CHAPTER 301. MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY

 30102. Definitions

  (a) General Definitions.--In this chapter--
          (1) ``covered rental vehicle'' means a motor vehicle 
        that--
                  (A) has a gross vehicle weight rating of 
                10,000 pounds or less;
                  (B) is rented without a driver for an initial 
                term of less than 4 months; and
                  (C) is part of a motor vehicle fleet of 5 or 
                more motor vehicles that are used for rental 
                purposes by a rental company.
          [(1)] (2) ``dealer'' means a person selling and 
        distributing new motor vehicles or motor vehicle 
        equipment primarily to purchasers that in good faith 
        purchase the vehicles or equipment other than for 
        resale.
          [(2)] (3) ``defect'' includes any defect in 
        performance, construction, a component, or material of 
        a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment.
          [(3)] (4) ``distributor'' means a person primarily 
        selling and distributing motor vehicles or motor 
        vehicle equipment for resale.
          [(4)] (5) ``interstate commerce'' means commerce 
        between a place in a State and a place in another State 
        or between places in the same State through another 
        State.
          [(5)] (6) ``manufacturer'' means a person--
                  (A) manufacturing or assembling motor 
                vehicles or motor vehicle equipment; or
                  (B) importing motor vehicles or motor vehicle 
                equipment for resale.
          [(6)] (7) ``motor vehicle'' means a vehicle driven or 
        drawn by mechanical power and manufactured primarily 
        for use on public streets, roads, and highways, but 
        does not include a vehicle operated only on a rail 
        line.
          [(7)] (8) ``motor vehicle equipment'' means--
                  (A) any system, part, or component of a motor 
                vehicle as originally manufactured;
                  (B) any similar part or component 
                manufactured or sold for replacement or 
                improvement of a system, part, or component, or 
                as an accessory or addition to a motor vehicle; 
                or
                  (C) any device or an article or apparel, 
                including a motorcycle helmet and excluding 
                medicine or eyeglasses prescribed by a licensed 
                practitioner, that--
                          (i) is not a system, part, or 
                        component of a motor vehicle; and
                          (ii) is manufactured, sold, 
                        delivered, or offered to be sold for 
                        use on public streets, roads, and 
                        highways with the apparent purpose of 
                        safeguarding users of motor vehicles 
                        against risk of accident, injury, or 
                        death.
          [(8)] (9) ``motor vehicle safety'' means the 
        performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle 
        equipment in a way that protects the public against 
        unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the 
        design, construction, or performance of a motor 
        vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or 
        injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational 
        safety of a motor vehicle.
          [(9)] (10) ``motor vehicle safety standard'' means a 
        minimum standard for motor vehicle or motor vehicle 
        equipment performance.
          (11) ``rental company'' means a person who--
                  (A) is engaged in the business of renting 
                covered rental vehicles; and
                  (B) uses for rental purposes a motor vehicle 
                fleet of 5 or more covered rental vehicles.
          [(10)] (12) ``State'' means a State of the United 
        States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the 
        Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the 
        Virgin Islands.
          [(11)] (13) ``United States district court'' means a 
        district court of the United States, a United States 
        court for Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, 
        and the district court for the Northern Mariana 
        Islands.
  (b) Limited Definitions.--
          (1) In sections 30117(b), 30118-30121, and 30166(f) 
        of this title--
                  (A) ``adequate repair'' does not include 
                repair resulting in substantially impaired 
                operation of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle 
                equipment;
                  (B) ``first purchaser'' means the first 
                purchaser of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle 
                equipment other than for resale;
                  (C) ``original equipment'' means motor 
                vehicle equipment (including a tire) installed 
                in or on a motor vehicle at the time of 
                delivery to the first purchaser;
                  (D) ``replacement equipment'' means motor 
                vehicle equipment (including a tire) that is 
                not original equipment;
                  (E) a brand name owner of a tire marketed 
                under a brand name not owned by the 
                manufacturer of the tire is deemed to be the 
                manufacturer of the tire;
                  (F) a defect in original equipment, or 
                noncompliance of original equipment with a 
                motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under 
                this chapter, is deemed to be a defect or 
                noncompliance of the motor vehicle in or on 
                which the equipment was installed at the time 
                of delivery to the first purchaser;
                  (G) a manufacturer of a motor vehicle in or 
                on which original equipment was installed when 
                delivered to the first purchaser is deemed to 
                be the manufacturer of the equipment; and
                  (H) a retreader of a tire is deemed to be the 
                manufacturer of the tire.
          (2) The Secretary of Transportation may prescribe 
        regulations changing paragraph (1)(C), (D), (F), or (G) 
        of this subsection.

 30120. Remedies for defects and noncompliance

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (i) Limitation on Sale or Lease of New Vehicles or Equipment  
or Rental.--
          [(1) If notification] (1) In general._If notification 
        is required by an order under section 30118(b) of this 
        title or is required under section 30118(c) of this 
        title and the manufacturer has provided to a dealer 
        (including retailers of motor vehicle equipment) 
        notification about a new motor vehicle or new item of 
        replacement equipment in the dealer's possession at the 
        time of notification or the manufacturer has provided 
        to a rental company notification about a covered rental 
        vehicle in the company's possession at the time of 
        notification that contains a defect related to motor 
        vehicle safety or does not comply with an applicable 
        motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this 
        chapter, [the dealer may sell or lease] the dealer or 
        rental company may sell, lease, or rent the motor 
        vehicle or item of replacement equipment only if--
                  (A) the defect or noncompliance is remedied 
                as required by this section before delivery 
                under the [sale or lease] sale, lease, or 
                rental agreement; or
                  (B) when the notification is required by an 
                order under section 30118(b) of this title, 
                enforcement of the order is restrained or the 
                order is set aside in a civil action to which 
                section 30121(d) of this title applies.
          [(2) This subsection does not prohibit a dealer from 
        offering for sale or lease the vehicle or equipment.]
          (2) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this subsection 
        may be construed to prohibit a dealer or rental company 
        from offering the vehicle or equipment for sale, lease, 
        or rent.
          (3) Specific rules for rental companies.--
                  (A) In general.--Except as otherwise provided 
                under this paragraph, a rental company shall 
                comply with the limitations on sale, lease, or 
                rental set forth in subparagraph (C) and 
                paragraph (1) as soon as practicable, but not 
                later than 24 hours after the earliest receipt 
                of the notice to owner under subsection (b) or 
                (c) of section 30118 (including the vehicle 
                identification number for the covered vehicle) 
                by the rental company, whether by electronic 
                means or first class mail.
                  (B) Special rule for large vehicle fleets.--
                Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), if a rental 
                company receives a notice to owner covering 
                more than 5,000 motor vehicles in its fleet, 
                the rental company shall comply with the 
                limitations on sale, lease, or rental set forth 
                in subparagraph (C) and paragraph (1) as soon 
                as practicable, but not later than 48 hours 
                after the earliest receipt of the notice to 
                owner under subsection (b) or (c) of section 
                30018 (including the vehicle identification 
                number for the covered vehicle) by the rental 
                company, whether by electronic means or first 
                class mail.
                  (C) Special rule for when remedies not 
                immediately available.--If a notification 
                required under subsection (b) or (c) of section 
                30118 indicates that the remedy for the defect 
                or noncompliance is not immediately available 
                and specifies actions to temporarily alter the 
                vehicle that eliminate the safety risk posed by 
                the defect or noncompliance, the rental 
                company, after causing the specified actions to 
                be performed, may rent (but may not sell or 
                lease) the motor vehicle. Once the remedy for 
                the rental vehicle becomes available to the 
                rental company, the rental company may not rent 
                the vehicle until the vehicle has been 
                remedied, as provided in subsection (a).
                  (D) Inapplicability to junk automobiles.--
                Notwithstanding paragraph (1), this subsection 
                does not prohibit a rental company from selling 
                a covered rental vehicle if such vehicle--
                          (i) meets the definition of a junk 
                        automobile under section 201 of the 
                        Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992 (49 U.S.C. 
                        30501);
                          (ii) is retitled as a junk automobile 
                        pursuant to applicable State law; and
                          (iii) is reported to the National 
                        Motor Vehicle Information System, if 
                        required under section 204 of such Act 
                        (49 U.S.C. 30504).
  (j) Prohibition on Sales of Replacement Equipment.--No person 
may sell or lease any motor vehicle equipment (including a 
tire), for installation on a motor vehicle, that is the subject 
of a decision under section 30118(b) or a notice required under 
section 30118(c) in a condition that it may be reasonably used 
for its original purpose unless--
          (1) the defect or noncompliance is remedied as 
        required by this section before delivery under the sale 
        or lease; or
          (2) notification of the defect or noncompliance is 
        required under section 30118(b) but enforcement of the 
        order is set aside in a civil action to which section 
        30121(d) applies.

 30122. Making safety devices and elements inoperative

  (a) Definition.--In this section, ``motor vehicle repair 
business'' means a person holding itself out to the public to 
repair for compensation a motor vehicle or motor vehicle 
equipment.
  (b) Prohibition.--A manufacturer, distributor, dealer, rental 
company, or motor vehicle repair business may not knowingly 
make inoperative any part of a device or element of design 
installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment 
in compliance with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard 
prescribed under this chapter unless the manufacturer, 
distributor, dealer, rental company, or repair business 
reasonably believes the vehicle or equipment will not be used 
(except for testing or a similar purpose during maintenance or 
repair) when the device or element is inoperative.
  (c) Regulations.--The Secretary of Transportation may 
prescribe regulations-- (1) to exempt a person from this 
section if the Secretary decides the exemption is consistent 
with motor vehicle safety and section 30101 of this title; and 
(2) to define ``make inoperative''.
  (d) [Deleted]

 30166. Inspections, investigations, and records

  (a) Definition.--In this section, ``motor vehicle accident'' 
means an occurrence associated with the maintenance or 
operation of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment 
resulting in personal injury, death, or property damage.
  (b) Authority To Inspect and Investigate.--
          (1) The Secretary of Transportation may conduct an 
        inspection or investigation--
                  (A) that may be necessary to enforce this 
                chapter or a regulation prescribed or order 
                issued under this chapter; or
                  (B) related to a motor vehicle accident and 
                designed to carry out this chapter.
          (2) The Secretary of Transportation shall cooperate 
        with State and local officials to the greatest extent 
        possible in an inspection or investigation under 
        paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection.
  (c) Matters That Can Be Inspected and Impoundment.--In 
carrying out this chapter, an officer or employee designated by 
the Secretary of Transportation--
          (1) at reasonable times, may inspect and copy any 
        record related to this chapter;
          (2) on request, may inspect records of a 
        manufacturer, distributor, [or dealer] dealer, or 
        rental company to decide whether the manufacturer, 
        distributor, [or dealer] dealer, or rental company has 
        complied or is complying with this chapter or a 
        regulation prescribed or order issued under this 
        chapter;
          (3) at reasonable times, in a reasonable way, and on 
        display of proper credentials and written notice to an 
        owner, operator, or agent in charge, may--
                  (A) enter and inspect with reasonable 
                promptness premises in which a motor vehicle or 
                motor vehicle equipment is manufactured, held 
                for introduction in interstate commerce, or 
                held for sale after introduction in interstate 
                commerce (including at United States ports of 
                entry);
                  (B) enter and inspect with reasonable 
                promptness premises at which a vehicle or 
                equipment involved in a motor vehicle accident 
                is located;
                  (C) inspect with reasonable promptness that 
                vehicle or equipment; and
                  (D) impound for not more than 72 hours a 
                vehicle or equipment involved in a motor 
                vehicle accident;
          (4) shall enter into a memorandum of understanding 
        with the Secretary of Homeland Security for inspections 
        and sampling of motor vehicle equipment being offered 
        for import to determine compliance with this chapter or 
        a regulation or order issued under this chapter.
  (d) Reasonable Compensation.--When a motor vehicle (except a 
vehicle subject to subchapter I of chapter 135 of this title) 
or motor vehicle equipment is inspected or temporarily 
impounded under subsection (c)(3) of this section, the 
Secretary of Transportation shall pay reasonable compensation 
to the owner of the vehicle if the inspection or impoundment 
results in denial of use, or reduction in value, of the 
vehicle.
  (e) Records and Making Reports.--The Secretary of 
Transportation reasonably may require a manufacturer of a motor 
vehicle or motor vehicle equipment to keep records, and a 
manufacturer, distributor, [or dealer] dealer, or rental 
company to make reports, to enable the Secretary to decide 
whether the manufacturer, distributor, [or dealer] dealer, or 
rental company has complied or is complying with this chapter 
or a regulation prescribed or order issued under this chapter. 
This subsection does not impose a recordkeeping requirement on 
a distributor [or dealer] dealer, or rental company in addition 
to those imposed under subsection (f) of this section and 
section 30117(b) of this title or a regulation prescribed or 
order issued under subsection (f) or section 30117(b).
  (f) Providing Copies of Communications About Defects and 
Noncompliance.--
          (1) In general.--A manufacturer shall give the 
        Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary shall 
        make available on a publicly accessible Internet 
        website, a true or representative copy of each 
        communication to the manufacturer's dealers [or to 
        owners], rental companies, or other owners or 
        purchasers of a motor vehicle or replacement equipment 
        produced by the manufacturer about a defect or 
        noncompliance with a motor vehicle safety standard 
        prescribed under this chapter in a vehicle or equipment 
        that is sold or serviced.
          (2) Index.--Communications required to be submitted 
        to the Secretary under this subsection shall be 
        accompanied by an index to each communication, that--
                  (A) identifies the make, model, and model 
                year of the affected vehicles;
                  (B) includes a concise summary of the subject 
                matter of the communication; and
                  (C) shall be made available by the Secretary 
                to the public on the Internet in a searchable 
                format.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


           MOVING AHEAD FOR PROGRESS IN THE 21ST CENTURY ACT


SEC. 32206. RENTAL TRUCK ACCIDENT STUDY.

                            [126 Stat. 785)

  (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Rental truck.--The term ``rental truck'' means a 
        motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 
        between 10,000 and 26,000 pounds that is made available 
        for rental by a rental truck company.
          (2) Rental truck company.--The term ``rental truck 
        company'' means a person or company that is in the 
        business of renting or leasing rental trucks to the 
        public or for private use.
  (b) Study.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall conduct a study 
        of the safety of rental trucks during the 7-year period 
        ending on December 31, 2011.
          (2) Requirements.--The study conducted under 
        paragraph (1) shall--
                  (A) evaluate available data on the number of 
                crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving 
                rental trucks and the cause of such crashes, 
                utilizing police accident reports and other 
                sources;
                  (B) estimate the property damage and costs 
                resulting from a subset of crashes involving 
                rental truck operations, which the Secretary 
                believes adequately reflect all crashes 
                involving rental trucks;
                  (C) analyze State and local laws regulating 
                rental truck companies, including safety and 
                inspection requirements;
                  (D) assess the rental truck maintenance 
                programs of a selection of small, medium, and 
                large rental truck companies, as selected by 
                the Secretary, including the frequency of 
                rental truck maintenance inspections, and 
                compare such programs with inspection 
                requirements for passenger vehicles and 
                commercial motor vehicles;
                  (E) include any other information available 
                regarding the safety of rental trucks; [and]
                  (F) evaluate the completion of safety recall 
                remedies on rental trucks; and
                  [(F)] (G) review any other information that 
                the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
  (c) [Report.--Not later] Reports._ 
          (1) Initial report._Not later than 1 year after the 
        date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall 
        submit a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, 
        and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on 
        Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
        Representatives that contains--
                  [(1)] (A) the findings of the study conducted 
                pursuant to [subsection (b)] subparagraphs (A) 
                through (E) and (G) of subsection (b)(2); and
                  [(2)] (B) any recommendations for legislation 
                that the Secretary determines to be 
                appropriate.
          (2) Safety recall remedy report.--Not later than 1 
        year after the date of the enactment of the ``Raechel 
        and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013'', the 
        Secretary shall submit a report to the congressional 
        committees set forth in paragraph (1) that contains--
                  (A) the findings of the study conducted 
                pursuant to subsection (b)(2)(F); and
                  (B) any recommendations for legislation that 
                the Secretary determines to be appropriate.