Rental Cars and Recalls

SC Product Liability Lawyer

SC Product Liability LawyerWould you want to rent a car if you knew it was under a recall notice?

Probably not. This is why the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a bill that would prevent rental car companies from doing just that.

The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2012 would require rental car companies to repair recalled vehicles before allowing customers to rent them. The bill was named after two girls who died resulting from a recalled car rented from Enterprise. The girls, aged 24 and 20 at the time of their death, died when the 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser, rented from Enterprise, began leaking steering fluid and suddenly caught fire causing them to crash into an oncoming semi-tractor trailer. The car the girls were riding in had been under a safety recall for a potential fire hazard. Enterprise neglected the safety recall and rented the vehicle out to the girls.

The Houck family sued Enterprise for the company’s negligence. After a lengthy lawsuit, the car rental company was required to pay $15 million in damages. The family started a petition in February on hoping to get Enterprise, the nation’s largest car rental company, to drop any opposition to the bill. The bill was introduced to the Senate last year by Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-California, and Chuck Schumer, D-New York.

The petition received over 100,000 signatures from people within days of being started. Enterprise soon changed their stance and announced they would be supporting the law. Enterprise seemed to have failed to follow through with their support. Last month, Sen. Boxer, joined by the Houck family, announced that currently three of the country’s four major car rental companies had declined to sign the pledge promising not to rent or sell cars under safety recall until those cars are fixed. The only company to sign the pledge was Hertz. Enterprise, Avis and Dollar Thrifty did not sign the pledge.

The car rental companies refusing to sign the pledge stated that they support legislation to ensure rental car safety, but that the legislation should not single out rental car companies. The companies believe that the legislation should cover other businesses that transport passengers, like limousine and taxi companies.

Enterprise, Avis, and Dollar Thrifty all issued statements regarding the Bill.

  • Enterprise stated the company “does NOT rent any vehicles under recall that have not been repaired first.”
  • Avis stated that their company “[does] not and will not rent a vehicle” under recall.
  • Dollar Thrifty stated in a June 5 letter to Sen. Boxer, “Dollar Thrifty has an outstanding safety record…specifically with respect to timely repair of safety recalls.”

According to ABC News, currently Sens. Boxer and Schumer are “putting the finishing touches” on a Senate version of the new House bill.

SC Product Liability Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed from a defective product, call the SC Product Liability Lawyer at the Strom Law Firm today. Companies whose products have caused injury should be held liable for the damages. The Strom Law Firm will fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve for these injuries. Call us today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800.



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