Not all cars are safe, and that’s especially true for rental cars. In light of the massive Fiat Chrysler and Takata recalls, a recent report has looked at what happens with rental cars that are part of such recalls and how that affects unsuspecting renters. In case you happen to rent cars on a regular basis, you should read this before you rent the next one — it might just save your life.

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Looking at recalled cars that are part of rental fleets, Today has discovered an unnerving problem: While it’s illegal to sell cars that have been recalled, they can still be rented out to unwitting drivers. Today says that you can easily rent cars that have been recalled for various reasons even if rental companies never sent them back for repairs. Avis, Dollar Rent a Car and Hetz were all found to have rented out cars that had been recalled and that were not fixed.

According to experts, anyone can check the recall status of a rental car by looking at the VIN (vehicle identification number) and entering it into the safecar.gov site. The site will immediately tell you whether the car was recalled and whether the recall has been dealt with. The VIN is a 17-digit code that’s usually printed at the bottom corner of the car’s dash on the driver’s side.

Today further says that it has been able to rent cars from well-known companies, including vehicles with defective Takata air bags. More than 34 million vehicles with Takata air bags have been recalled after they were linked to over 100 injuries and eight deaths. But not all rental cars sporting Takata air bags have been fixed.

In the future, before renting your next car, check its VIN and see whether it’s actually safe to drive.

Today’s video report on the matter follows below.

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