Beware of ‘Frankenstein’ limousines

The crash that claimed 20 lives in upstate New York is bringing long overdue attention to the dangers of “Frankenstein limos,” safety advocates say.

The monstrous name refers to cars made by assembling parts from several vehicles to get the supersized interior, said Deborah Hersman, president and chief executive of the National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization based in Itasca, Ill.

The crash is also a tragic reminder that consumers are often on their own when vetting a limousine company’s safety record. State laws vary, and there’s no quick way for passengers to search a vehicle’s inspection history or driver’s record.

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