The Toyota recall has prompted the Car Rental Industry to remove Toyota vehicles from their rental fleets. The ripple effect, and the impact to the auto rental industry is still being speculated.
Equity trading and research firm, MKM Partners LLC, predicts that the recall should have a minimal impact on the daily operations of the auto rental industry, and the financial impact should also be limited.
Enterprise Holdings, the largest U.S. auto rental company, will keep the eight recalled Toyota vehicles out of it’s rental fleet until the safety recall has been resolved. Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and National Car Rental, are all brands owned and operated by Enterprise Holdings. Toyota makes up only 4% of their entire rental fleet.
Hertz, Avis Budget, and Dollar Thrifty Group have also removed the Toyota vehicles from their rental fleets. Hertz will likely be the most affected with Toyota vehicles making up 20% of their fleet, but only 70% of those are the makes affected by the recall. The Avis Budget Group Inc, which operates both Avis and Budget rental brands, will be removing approximately 20,000 vehicles from their North American rental fleets, about 7%-8% of their entire fleet. For Dollar Rent A Car, Toyota vehicles make up only 1.5% of their car rental fleet, so minimal impact is expected.
Toyota Vehicles affected by the recall include the RAV4, the Corolla, Matrix, Avalon, Camry, Highlander, Tundra, and the Sequoia.
The actual occurrence of the accelerator sticking (the cause of all the recalls) is very rare, and none of the rental companies to date had reported any problems. Vehicles were removed from their fleets as a precautionary safety measure.
Toyota has developed a repair solution for the sticking accelerator, and is working quickly to fix the affected vehicles, and get business back to normal for everyone impacted by this situation.
For the car rental industry the timing has helped to keep the impact of the situation low. As the recalls occurred after Christmas, but before the Spring Break and Summer rush, rental companies have been able to provide their customers with other vehicle models from their rental fleets.
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