Avis Budget Group announced April 6 that it is immediately taking steps to remove approximately 10,000 model-year 2012 Ford Focus sedans from its rental fleet in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico following receipt of a safety recall notice from the manufacturer relating to a potential problem with windshield wiper motors.
After identifying the affected vehicles within the Avis Budget fleet by Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) provided by the manufacturer, the company has placed these cars on “hard hold” in its reservations system, which prevents the vehicles from being rented. Customers with affected vehicles currently on rent may bring the cars to a nearby Avis or Budget location, depending upon which brand the vehicle was rented from, to exchange the vehicle, although customers are not required to do so.
“In keeping with our commitment to putting our customers’ safety first, we have begun the process of grounding all affected vehicles until approved repairs can be made,” said Tom Gartland, president, North America, Avis Budget Group.” Our systems allow us to have full control over the affected vehicles in our inventory, so that our customers may have peace of mind knowing they will not receive a rental car from Avis or Budget which is subject to a safety recall.”
The problem does not affect all 2012 Ford Focus sedans, only certain models manufactured at one Ford factory.
“What’s important is not how long it takes to affect repairs, but rather that no vehicles involved in a safety recall are allowed to go out on rent until approved repairs are made,” Gartland said.
With a fleet of approximately 300,000 vehicles in North America, Avis Budget Group expects that removing these vehicles will cause no disruption in customer service and all existing reservations can be fulfilled as usual.