One of the nation’s leading rental car companies recently ordered thousands of cars without side impact airbags in an attempt to save millions of dollars, then later sold the cars to buyers without the standard safety feature, according to a report from the Kansas City Star. It appears that Enterprise Rent-A-Car ordered a fleet of Chevy Impalas without the side impact airbags between 2006 and 2008. Although Chevy sells Impalas with that type of air bag as standard equipment, the buyer has the option to opt out of it, which Enterprise apparently did.
After renting out the vehicles, the Star learned that St. Louis-based Enterprise turned around and sold the used vehicles on its Web site, but failed to make clear that the Impalas were missing the air bags. Enterprise defended its decision to opt out of the air bags, stating that the needed safety feature is not yet required by the federal government. It was reported that the decision saved Enterprise $11.5 million on the roughly 66,000 vehicles. Enterprise also said it is not the only company to buy fleets of cars without side impact air bags.
But according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, studies have shown that side air bags with head protection can reduce highway deaths by up to 45%. An estimated 8,000 people were killed in side-impact collisions in 2007 alone, according to reports. Enterprise has apologized and pledged to rectify the situation, but the company blamed a software glitch for the false advertising. According to Enterprise, 745 of the Impalas were sold nationwide.
Source: Fox News
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