In rental cars, dangerous bacteria may come along for the ride
Jeff Rossen and Josh Davis-July 4, 2014
When you rent a car, you’re worried about the price: Should you get a midsize, a full-size, or an SUV? But what you may not think about is who was in the car before you: Were they clean? Were they sick? And could that make you sick?
To find out what might be lurking inside rental cars, TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen and his team rented six vehicles from Orlando, Florida, outlets of the top rental companies, including sedans, an SUV and a minivan. In some of them they found visible filth, including mystery stains as well as a hairball.
But it’s what you don’t see that can actually be dangerous, so the Rossen team hired scientists from a certified laboratory. Armed with gloves and goggles, they swabbed every car from top to bottom: the steering wheels, gearshifts, door handles, even the GPS units.