Rental Companies to Stop Leasing Recalled Cars
Five rental car companies have announced they will no longer lease cars that have been recalled, as a bill requesting the same awaits the next legislative session. The companies that have made this announcement are Hertz, Enterprise, Dollar, Thrifty, and National.
Accident that Sparked Legislation
In 2004, Raechel and Jacqueline Houck rented a Chrysler PT Crusier that had previously been recalled weeks earlier due to a power steering problem, the Kansas City Star reported. Enterprise rented the car to the girls and the car caught fire, killing them both.
Current Law Does Not Apply to Rental Companies
- According to MSN, current law only prohibits car dealers from selling vehicles recalled vehicles. Rental companies have no such rule.
- The law currently protects consumers from buying a recalled car, but fails to mention anything about consumer who wish to rent a car.
- Rental car companies are able to get away with temporary fixes in order to rent out more cars, instead of fixing the problem permanently.
- Proposed legislation would keep unsafe vehicles off the road, including rentals.
Rental Companies' Response Time to Recalls
(According to MSN)
- A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, released in March 2011, looked at how quickly rental car companies responded to recalls.
- The study focused on 10 Chrysler and GM recalls between 2006 and 2010.
- Enterprise: Fixed 65% of cars within 90 days.
- Avis/Budget: Fixed 53% of cars within 90 days.
- Hertz: Fixed 34% of cars within 90 days.
Effects of the Houck Online Campaign
(According to The Kansas City Star)
- Cally Houck, mother of the two girls who died, launched an online campaign supporting a bill requiring rental companies to not rent out recalled vehicles. The campaign obtained 130,000 signatures.
- The U.S. Senate bill is called the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Rental Car Safety Act.
- At first, Enterprise was hesitant to support the Act because of the degree of urgency for minor problems. But with more and more names being added to the petition, Enterprise began to listen to their customers.
- Enterprise, along with Hertz, Avis and Dollar signed onto the federal proposal.
- These companies pledged to fix recalled cars before renting or selling them even if the Act fails
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