(a) In General.— An owner of a motor vehicle that rents or leases the vehicle to a person (or an affiliate of the owner) shall not be liable under the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, by reason of being the owner of the vehicle (or an affiliate of the owner), for harm to persons or property that results or arises out of the use, operation, or possession of the vehicle during the period of the rental or lease, if—
(1)the owner (or an affiliate of the owner) is engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles; and
(2)there is no negligence or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner (or an affiliate of the owner).
(b) Financial Responsibility Laws.— Nothing in this section supersedes the law of any State or political subdivision thereof—
(1)imposing financial responsibility or insurance standards on the owner of a motor vehicle for the privilege of registering and operating a motor vehicle; or
(2)imposing liability on business entities engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles for failure to meet the financial responsibility or liability insurance requirements under State law.
(c) Applicability and Effective Date.— Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this section shall apply with respect to any action commenced on or after the date of enactment of this section without regard to whether the harm that is the subject of the action, or the conduct that caused the harm, occurred before such date of enactment.
(d) Definitions.— In this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) Affiliate.— The term “affiliate” means a person other than the owner that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the owner. In the preceding sentence, the term “control” means the power to direct the management and policies of a person whether through ownership of voting securities or otherwise.
(2) Owner.— The term “owner” means a person who is—
(A)a record or beneficial owner, holder of title, lessor, or lessee of a motor vehicle;
(B)entitled to the use and possession of a motor vehicle subject to a security interest in another person; or
(C)a lessor, lessee, or a bailee of a motor vehicle, in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles, having the use or possession thereof, under a lease, bailment, or otherwise.
(3) Person.— The term “person” means any individual, corporation, company, limited liability company, trust, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, or any other entity.
The date of enactment of this section, referred to in subsec. (c), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–59, which was approved Aug. 10, 2005.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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