Though Toyota announced a fix for its problematic accelerator pedals on Monday, some car-rental companies are still trying to remove the cars from its fleets.
Enterprise Holdings, which owns the Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and National Car Rental brands, said Tuesday that it has successfully removed 83 percent of the estimated 35,000 recalled vehicles from its rental pool. This overall number is about 4 percent of its North American fleet. The Enterprise brand also has the benefit of having both airport and suburban locations, which means its inventory can be shifted around fairly quickly depending on demand.
Avis has said that if you wind up with a non-recalled Toyota rental and you prefer to drive another brand, they’ll switch you to another vehicle. This gesture of good will is naturally based on availability. With Presidents’ Day weekend falling at the same time as Valentine’s Day, it’ll be interesting to see if the car-rental companies can anticipate the demand of the holiday weekend.
If you are planning to rent a car over the long weekend, please let us know if you encounter any problems–or any unexpected perks.
Tip: Sometimes you may be upgraded at no extra cost if the rental category you reserved is no longer available. When I was in Oahu a few years back, my friend and I reserved an economy-class car through Enterprise. We were bumped up to a SUV when the rental location ran out of economy cars. As I said, this was a few years ago–before driving gas guzzlers became passé and before you had to worry about an accelerator pedal getting stuck.
Update: Automotive Traveler reports the following short-term price hikes of rentals from Hertz, Enterprise Holdings, Avis Budget and Dollar Thrifty: “Daily rates for both mid-size and full-size cars have increased an average of 46 percent at New York’s JFK airport across all four of the companies and their respective brands mentioned above. Yet prices at LAX for the same rental period and vehicle classes remained almost unchanged. At the Miami and Denver airport locations, results have been mixed depending on the vehicle class. Mid-size cars at MIA saw only a 3-percent increase, while full-size cars rose 10 percent. Data from DEN showed a 23-percent increase for mid-size cars and a 16-percent increase for full-size.”
[Thanks, Automotive Traveler]