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----------------------------------7/28/15-----------------------------------------

Takata airbags idle hundreds of rental cars
Posted: Jul 27, 2015 3:43 AM HST
Updated: Jul 27, 2015 4:17 AM HST
By Howard Dicus

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At Kona airport, across from the Avis rental car office, is a lava-coated piece of property that might usually be called a vacant lot. Today, however, it’s covered with a sea of Mustangs.

Ford Mustang, more than 80 of them, parked there indefinitely because the Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata recalled them.

It’s not just Avis. The Ford Mustang is one of the most popular of all rental cars. People who normally drive staid SUVs like to rent sporty models on vacation, paying more to do so.

“We have pulled 136 Mustangs from our Hawaii fleets as a result of the recall,” said Anna Bootenhoff of Hertz. “It has been longstanding Hertz policy not to rent recalled vehicles until they have been repaired.” In 2012 Hertz helped craft federal legislation to create one national rule on recalls.

Takata Corp., a pioneer in the manufacture of seatbelts and airbags, has a history of major recalls, but the current round tops them all. Millions of vehicles are affected.

Sources in the local car rental industry say the rental chains have been told it will take at least six months from the start of a manufactured fix before all cars are back in service, and, as of this week, such manufacturing has yet to begin.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

---------------------------------6/23/15--------------------------------

We just learned that here is a new factory recall on all Ford Mustangs Year 2014 and early 2015. There is a safty issue with the airbag and all these cars need to be inspected. This may cause a shortage on Ford Mustang Convertibles with all the rental car companies in Hawaii.

----------------------------------6/01/15--------------------------------

Today we where notified that on Kauai the Thrifty Agency moved there office. They are now new with Dollar at the Liue Airport. The good thing about this is that the Agency is open longer at night, basically like everybody else until the last plane landet. The not so good thing about this move is that now new the Fees and Taxes are now higher than they where before. And According to Thirfty the governement does not allow them to honor the old reservation rates (estimated Endprice) since they where whithout those expesive Airport Fees and extra Airport Taxes. The result is, that many reservations are going to end up higher than originally estimated because of the new Taxes and Fees applied. The Base Rate of the reservation is guaranteed and will not change. But the Estimated Endprice is going to be more expensive.

----------------------------------3/25/15--------------------------------

We just found out, that ALAMO will change there entire Jeep Wrangler Fleet form Soft Top and Hart Top cars, to Hart Top Cars only. The Hart Top car still allowes to partially remove the roof and store in in the car. That means that by the end of this summer, most of the soft Top Jeep Wranglers with Alamo will be gone. They had to many insidents with the roofs. There will still be some soft top Wranglers with Alamo but nothign guaranteed. If you want to be sure to have a Soft Top Jeep Wrangler, rent it with either Avis, Budget, Thrifty or Dollar.

 

----------------------------------1/15/15--------------------------------

Call us now to get the acutal best possible price for a car in January, February or March... 1-866-3007116. (if you get the voice mail, leave your number and we call you back ASAP)

 

----------------------------------1/10/15--------------------------------

The rental car companies are going crazy with the rates. This is the first time in the last 20 years. Prices are 100% higher or more than usual, due to the new automated marketing system, which is now in use by all the major rental car companies. It is the same as with the Airline Seats. Prices can change hourly and prices are going up, once the agency has sold a certain percentage of the cars in a speficic time.

To get low rates, it is the best to check 5 month ahead. F.i. we can get cars in the summer time for very low rates compare to what they are right now.

We suggest to book now. Since we dont need a Creditcard to hold and confirm the reservation you are not taking any risk, you can cancel later should you find a cheaper car or should you decide not to come to Hawaii. Once the car is locked, the price is not going to change.

 

----------------------------------12/2//14--------------------------------

Yes, on the Big Island all cars are sold out if you pick up after Dec. 20th. 2014

Here is what WE recomment in the future: Book your car way ahead and cancel it if you don't need it. There is no cancellation policy if you book thru us! Book the car in January if you think you may want to come to Hawaii.

 

---------------------------------12/1/2014 ---------------------------------

CAR Hawaii Rental Car Rates rising

Jim Mendoza
Dec 1, 2014 05:51 PM
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Last week, Dale Moyen went shopping for a rental car for a five-day holiday in Hilo over New Year's. The price quote gave him sticker shock.

"Everybody was out except for two companies. And the two companies that still had cars were over $100 a day," he said.

He searched more but the lowest price he found for a mid–size Toyota was $93 a day. In Kona the quote was $1,100 for one week.

"It seems like they are taking advantage of supply and demand," he said.

Travel experts said rental car companies operate on a simple formula. When inventory goes down, prices go up. Demand for rental cars peaks during certain times of the year. Late December is one of them.

"Over the last year rental car prices have increased. It is not uncommon to pay $100 a day or more. Of course it depends on where you are and the time of year. But it's no longer the bargain it once was," Elizabeth Harryman said.

Rental car firms set their own prices. None of the companies we contacted would comment on camera. Off-camera we were told the holiday factor is one reason for higher prices. And in Moyen's case, he was dealing with a neighbor Island where car rental fleets are smaller.

"I'm in IT and I figure that with all of the analytics tools and IT measuring that we have nowadays, they should be able to predict their peak periods and adjust their inventory accordingly," Moyen said.

Consumer experts advise that if you plan to travel during the holidays, book your car rental six months to a year in advance. Moyen said he rented cars during the holidays before but never paid more than $60 a day.

"I checked Young Brothers to see what it would cost roundtrip. It was actually $50 cheaper to ship my own car to Hilo and back versus renting a car at those rates," he said.

After a day of searching, Moyen eventually found a deal at $49 a day.

Copyright 2014 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

----------------------------------9/22/14 / 10/23/14 --------------------------------

Thirfty and Dollars: Minivans sold out during christmas time. At certain locations all cars are booked out after 12/25/14.

We are experiencing problems when we try to book Minivans over the Christmas period.

This year, the christmas holidays are going to be sold out early!

 

----------------------------------9/15/14--------------------------------

Avis and Budget are cancelling the contracted rates. They change there system to "fluctuating rates", which we are not able to show on our system (*yet). We are working on a new booking system which would allow to included this rates. Untill then we can not advertise actual Budget or Avis Rates. We can check actual rates over the phone. We can not advertise contracted rates.

----------------------------------7/1/14--------------------------------

As of today we were informed that Alamo also is required by law to charge the $4.50 per day "facility surcharge" for their Honolulu Airport Agency. The new tax must be added to all cars picked up after July 1st, 2014 regardless of when the car was booked.

----------------------------------6/26/14--------------------------------

Thrifty is adding a Facility Surcharge of $4.50 per DAY at the Honolulu "off Airport" Agency as of 7/1/14. They are forced by the State to add this official tax. It is not under the authority of the Rental Agency or any travel agent.

This causes all of the existing reservations to be $4.50 per day more than anticipated at the time of booking!!!

----------------------------------5/12/14--------------------------------

Avis and Budget lowered their summer rates. Now is the time to book cars for the summer holidays. The rates will never get better. This is the time window to book a car if you plan to come to Hawaii with your family during the summer break.

----------------------------------5/3/14---------------------------------

Alamo changed the rates without notice. They have moved the lower rates to their sister company Enterprise.

----------------------------------1/16/14---------------------------------

New Rates for the February Season coming up within the next couple of days

----------------------------------11/16/13--------------------------------

All cars sold out in Kona over the Christmas week. The other islands will follow soon.

----------------------------------10/16/13------------------------------

New Rates!! Rates came down as of today. Some Rental Companies lowerd there rates almost 10%. I think we are seeing a decline of rates until when Christmas Season starts.

 

----------------------------------10/15/13------------------------------------------

Minivans are getting tight on Big Island and Maui for the Christmas-Hollidays. Kona, Hilo, Kahului and Kapalua are pretty much sold out on Minivans.

 

----------------------------------9/21/13------------------------------------------

On the Big Island in Kona and Hilo it is already difficult to get certain cars for the Christmas week. Jeep Wranglers and Minivans are already pretty much sold out. The other cars are still available. The rates are sky rocking.

----------------------------------9/15/13------------------------------------------

 

9/15 Seems like most of the newer models of Jeep Wranglers need to undergo this special replacement. However, all companies do also have "older" models which are not part of the recall. And the different locations are working hart go get the custoemrs with Jeep Wrangler reservations the car of choice.

 

----------------------------------8/7/13 ------------------------------------------

8/7/13We just learned that Alamo (possibly the other rental companies as well?) has a "technical Factory-Recall" on all Jeep Wrangler. There is no time frame as to when they will have the problem under controll. This is the case on all of the islands.
Alamo is trying to accommodate the customers the best possible way when they pick up the vehicle.

 

-------------------------------8/7/2013----------------------------------------

NHTSA Vehicle Safety Recalls

WRANGLER

STEERING:HYDRAULIC POWER ASSIST:HOSE, PIPING, AND CONNECTIONS

Recall number: 13V234000

Problem Summary:

CHRYSLER GROUP LLC (CHRYSLER) IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2012-2013 JEEP WRANGLER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH A 3.6L ENGINE AND AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND MANUFACTURED JANUARY 23, 2011, THROUGH FEBRUARY 23, 2013. THE POWER STEERING LINE MAY CONTACT AND WEAR A HOLE IN THE TRANSMISSION OIL COOLER LINE RESULTING IN A LOSS OF TRANSMISSION FLUID.

Consequence:

A LOSS OF TRANSMISSION FLUID MAY RESULT IN A LOSS OF TRANSMISSION FUNCTION WHICH MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.

Corrective Action:

CHRYSLER WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE POWER STEERING RETURN TUBE ASSEMBLY, FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN JULY 2013. OWNERS MAY CONTACT CHRYSLER AT 1-800-247-9753. CHRYSLER'S RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS N28.

This recall affects vehicles manufactured between 01/23/2011 and 02/23/2013.

 

The rental car companies are trying there best to accommodate customers with Jeep Wrangler Reservations

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6/4/13 Honolulu is getting short on Minivans again. Looks like most Minivans are already gone for the summertime. Same with Kona and Hilo. On the other islands Minivans are still available. We suggest to rent two cars if you are more than 5 Pax. Since this seems still to be the best value.

5/22/13 Kona and Hilo are pretty much sold out on Minivans for the summertime already.

4/12/13 Most Rental car agencies lowered the amount of cars in there fleets over the last couple of year.(economic down and less visitors after 2005) And according to our information they will not add more cars to it in the near future. However, the number of visitors is growing continuously and they already reached the same number as they where on the peak in 2005. With no more cars added to the fleets, the result is, that most agencies are sold out often and leave visitors puzzled with no cars, after they booked the Hotel and the airfare. Our advise to this is... "Book your car first - you can alwasys cancel it if you can't get a flight or change it if your dates and times change. But there is no way to get a car once the agencies are sold out or you have to pay up to 1000 Dollars for a car PER WEEK!"

 

10/25 Today we where noticed that Kona is sold out on cars between 11/2 and 11/10. We can still get some cars, but inventory is tide.

 

10/18/12 This is amazing. Now we are getting the informaton in October, (!!) that cars are sold out during the christmas week already on all islands but not Oahu. Since years cars are getting sold out for the "mother of all seasons" however, that they are already waiving the flags in October for Christmas is bummer for everbody. I ask myself, how many people are going to book and confirm there Condo or Hotel for the christmas week, not knowing that they will end up with NO CAR!!

 

 

6/27/2012 As of July 1, 2012, the previously mandated daily tax of $4.50 (see article below) applying to ALL rental car companies, on & off airport properties, have been eliminated for any rental car company located off airport property in the State of Hawaii! This is great news for visitors coming to Oahu because Alamo & Thifty are located one block from the Honolulu Airport (4-6 minute shuttle bus ride as opposed to a 3-4 minute shuttle bus ride to on-airport locations). Waikiki locations on Oahu and Ka`anapali locations on Maui will also see this rate reduction.

 

6/16/2012 Rental car companies are telling us, that for December (!!) they are almost sold out on SUV's. Thats a maising!! Soo early - it is June now.. however they say the reason is that in December a movie will be shot on Kauai and the producer company basically booked almost all SUV's.

 

6/11/2012 Minivans are going to be short on Oahu during the month of July. We get information from all rental car companies that they are almost sold out on Minivans already.

 

4/20/2012 Alamo is telling us, that they are all sold out alread for Economy and Compact class cars during the upcomming summer 6/21 - 8/4/2012 at all Honolulu locations (RIMPAC 2012).

We suggest to book your car ASAP for the summertime. We can still get some economy and compact cars at this point. With the other companies. However, it will be difficult as later it gets. Book your car now at no risk.

4/1/2012 Happy Easter! Hurry up. Eastern ist coming up and cars are getting short on some islands.

 

NOTE: Since rental car companies are currently short on cars, especially during holiday seasons or when special events occur (see article below), we strongly suggest that you book your car well in advance of your trip. Book the car first and then get your airline tickets. You can still make changes to your car reservation after you buy your airline ticket, but you will have a hard time returning your airline ticket if you leave it too late and find out that all the rental companies are sold out. Or that the only agency which still has cars (usually Hertz) charges $800 for an Economy car for one week. With us, you can cancel your rental car at any time, right up to the pick-up day for FREE - NO CANCELLATION FEE!

Here is what we recommend:
  1. Get a free price quote on our website now.
  2. Book your car after reviewing your price quote email.
  3. Receive your rental car confirmation number via email.
  4. Get your Airline Ticket
  5. Adjust the timing for your car reservation (just send us an email)
  6. Enjoy your holidays!
The MAUI NEWS March 31, 2009 by MELISSA TANJI, Staff Writer

CAR AGENCIES CUT FLEETS with TOURISTS ON DECLINE

Another hit for Maui tourism

KAHULUI - With fewer tourists vacationing on Maui, car rental companies have decreased their fleets - some by double-digit percentages, leaving renters scrambling to find available vehicles.

"We probably won't come (to Maui) until June, if we can get a car over there," said John Farmer, of Portland, OR, who visits Maui five times a year.

Farmer was planning a March visit but said cars were sold out at his usual rental agency, Alamo Rent A Car. He also couldn't find cars at National Car Rental and Avis Rent A Car. Hertz Rent A Car was offering a rental at $500 a week, which Farmer said was too much to pay so he canceled his trip.

Oahu resident John Naughton and his wife were trying to find a rental car on Maui in February so they could attend a special ceremony in Hana to remember the crew members of the Sarah Joe, a lost boat from Hana that Naughton found years later on a remote atoll.

"Several of us were trying to get over there and get cars. My wife and I had a big problem: We couldn't find cars anywhere," he said.

Naughton said his wife, who works in the travel business, called Hawaiian Airlines, which helped them get a rental from a national chain.

"I never had a problem before," he said.

Terryl Vencl, executive director of the Maui Visitors Bureau, said bureau officials are aware of the rental car shortage and are working on the problem.

"Obviously, visitors need a car in a destination such as Maui.We are hoping that the situation is remedied soon and always stand ready to assist if we can," she said.

Apparently, Maui isn't the only place where the rental car pool has shrunk. Rental car chains said it's also a trend elsewhere.

Alice Pereira, a spokeswoman for Avis and Budget Car Rental, said in an email that, in response to lower demand, the companies have also decreased their fleets "everywhere, not just Maui."

"There's no secret that the economy has had a dramatic impact on tourism to the islands," said Chris Payne, senior manager of corporate communications for the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. "With fewer vacationers, we've had no choice but to cut fleet in order to remain profitable and be able to serve customers to the area."

In an email, Payne said Dollar Rent A Car Systems and Thrifty Car Rental decreased their fleets on Maui by a double-digit percentage, but he said he couldn't be more specific because such information is proprietary.

Adjustments to the fleet began in the second quarter of 2008, following and as a direct result of last year's shutdowns of Aloha Airlines and ATA, he said.

Payne compared the drop in business with falling hotel occupancy rates. But unlike hotels that can't "unload" rooms, car rental companies can lower their inventories and are fortunate to be able to make such "nimble adjustments," Payne said.

"If we had not cut fleet consistent with decreased traffic, we would have had to dramatically cut pricing to the point that it would have a negative impact on our business," he wrote.

"Our fleet size is continually adjusted to correlate to customer demand," wrote Laura Bryant, a spokeswoman for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which also owns National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car. "In addition, we are positioned for - and committed to - future growth in Maui."

Alamo plans to launch service on Molokai in June and hire locally for the operation, said Alamo Vice President and General Manager Paul Kopel.

A Hertz official did not respond to an inquiry last week.

Kim Schauman of Oahu received rides from friends and borrowed cars after she couldn't find a rental car on Maui over the President's Day weekend in February.

"I was really surprised to not be able to find a car to rent on Maui, especially since all reports pointed to lower-than-usual hotel occupancy rates," she said via email.

She said she tried Hotwire.com and searched for cars on Dollar, Hertz, and Alamo Web sites, but found nothing. A smaller rental car company, Word of Mouth Rent-A-Car, was also booked, she said.

Schauman found a flight-and-car package with Hawaiian Airlines, but it would cost her $158 plus tax to rent a car for a day. That was too expensive, she said.

Schauman, who is with the nonprofit group Hawai'i Council for the Humanities, was heading to Maui to attend the opening of the exhibit "Key Ingredients: America by Food" at Maui Community College.

"If I had just wanted to travel to Maui for vacation, I probably would have canceled my plans when I couldn't find a car to rent," she said.

Farmer warns that the lack of rental cars could be another hit for Maui's visitor industry, which is already suffering.

"People won't come over if they can't get a car," he said.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.