Mobility Services and Vehicles

In April 2016, Leslie Pujo brought her vehicle rental and mobility services practice to Plave Koch PLC, where together we proudly carry on the tradition of her previous firm, LaPlaca Pujo, P.C., and its late founder, Michael LaPlaca. The LaPlaca firm provided legal services to hundreds of vehicle rental firms, auto manufacturers and dealerships and other fleet managers over the course of nearly 40 years.  The LaPlaca firm and now Plave Koch have helped clients navigate changes as the industry evolves from counter-based, bricks and mortar operations to on-demand, app-based carsharing and the emerging mobility ecosystem.  We honor that distinguished history by continuing to serve clients large and small that provide cars, trucks, motorcycles, and RVs through counter-based rental operations, carsharing, and emerging business models, as well as by maintaining the Federal and State Guide© to Vehicle Rental Law.

Our services include:

Establishing a Mobility Services Business. We help clients navigate the legal and regulatory requirements in establishing consumer and commercial vehicle rental and carsharing businesses or expanding their existing operations to develop or participate in new platforms, such as renting vehicles to transportation network company (TNC) drivers or listing excess fleet on app-based platforms.

Reviewing Rental and Other Agreements.  We review rental agreements for compliance with motor vehicle rental laws and adapt the agreements to reflect changes in technology, such as use of electronic agreements and apps, as well as new business models.

Complying with Vehicle Rental and Other Laws.  We assist clients in developing operational policies that comply with vehicle rental-related laws, including federal safety recall requirements, ADA requirements, sale of collision damage waiver and supplemental liability insurance, rate advertising requirements, membership programs, damage recovery practices, and state TNC laws.  We also assist clients in understanding how existing laws apply to emerging business models.

Understanding the Graves Amendment.  We work with clients to understand the scope of the Graves Amendment and how this federal law can protect from unlimited state vicarious liability laws based solely on ownership of the vehicle.

Connected Cars and Highly Automated Vehicles (HAVs).  Vehicles are increasingly becoming part of the Internet of Things (IoT) with safety enhancements like lane assist and adaptive cruise control technology, and infotainment systems that permit a seamless transition from home to vehicle.  Plave Koch works with our clients to understand the legal implications, such as privacy and data security, of adding connected vehicles to their fleet, as well as issues that will arise with HAV deployment.

Impact on Other Industries.  We also can assist our franchise clients in understanding how the transforming transportation industry will impact their overall businesses, as well as their relationship with franchisees, suppliers and consumers.