Consumers for
Auto
Reliability and
Safety

Will Congress end "rental car roulette"

Stop rentals of unsafe, recalled cars?
 
Rental car companies now support safety legislation

 
 
CA Senator Barbara Boxer challenges GM CEO Mary Barra:
Stop opposing federal rental car / safety recall bill
 
Barra claims GM no longer places top priority on costs, at the expense of its customers' safety. But the sole reason that GM and the Auto Alliance give for opposing the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Rental Car Safety Act? They don't want to face having to pay rental car companies for lost revenue if they have to ground vehicles that are under a safety recall, pending repairs. Apparently GM anticipates making a lot more unsafe vehicles that will be subject to safety recalls. Hardly reassuring.
 

BOXER PRESSES GENERAL MOTORS CEO MARY BARRA ON RENTAL CAR SAFETY
Senator Asks Why GM Is Part of Industry Effort to Block Legislation to Protect Consumers from Unsafe, Recalled Rental Cars – While at the Same Time Placing Owners of Its Own Recalled Cars into Rental Vehicles
 
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today questioned General Motors CEO Mary Barra on rental car safety at a Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on GM’s recall of 2.6 million vehicles. Senator Boxer asked Barra to explain GM’s opposition – through the industry trade group, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers – to the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act, which would protect consumers from unsafe rental vehicles under recall – at the same time that GM is placing owners of its own recalled vehicles into rental cars.

To view the video of Senator Boxer’s exchange with Barra on her official website, please click here.

“Do you support a proposed law by Senator McCaskill and myself that would say recalled cars like yours can no longer be rented or loaned?” Senator Boxer asked.

After Barra refused to commit to supporting the bill, Senator Boxer responded: “Now you should know that my constituent Cally Houck lost her two daughters, Raechel, 24, and Jacquie, 20, in a tragic accident caused by an unrepaired safety defect in a rental car they were driving. So [with] Senator Schumer and McCaskill, we wrote the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act. And you know what, the rental car people support it, but you don’t. The automobile manufacturers don’t. So you are essentially bragging today, if I may use the word, that you’re telling your people to get another car, but at the same time your lobbying organization is opposing a bill that would make sure no one would die the way they died.”

While current law prohibits car dealerships from selling new vehicles under recall to consumers, no law bans rental car companies from doing the same or renting them to unsuspecting consumers. The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act – sponsored by Senator Boxer and Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) – would keep unsafe rental cars that have been recalled off the road.

The bipartisan bill is named in honor of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, two sisters from Santa Cruz, who were killed in a tragic accident in 2004 while driving a rented Chrysler PT Cruiser that had been recalled for a power steering hose defect but had not been repaired. The car caught fire because of the defect while traveling on Highway 101 in Monterey County, causing a loss of steering and a head-on collision with a semi-trailer truck.

In September 2012, Senators Boxer, Schumer and McCaskill announced that all major car rental companies – Hertz, Enterprise, Avis Budget, Dollar Thrifty, and National – agreed to voluntarily stop the renting or selling of vehicles that have been recalled by their manufacturer and endorsed the legislation.

Although the bill has the support of the major rental car companies and consumer advocates, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers – which includes GM – has opposed the bill and is working to prevent it from moving forward in the Senate. The National Automobile Dealers Association, which includes many GM franchise dealerships, is also opposed to the legislation.

Boxer made clear that Barra’s stance is especially troubling in light of GM’s promise to cover the cost of interim rental vehicles while its customers wait for their vehicles to be repaired. Although the major rental car companies have pledged to keep unsafe vehicles off the road, there is no assurance that a driver will be placed in a safer vehicle since there is no federal law that prevents unsafe, recalled vehicles from being sold or rented to consumers.

Senator Boxer pointed out, “So you can send your owner of one of these cars to a rental place to get a loaner … and they could get a defective car.”

The legislation is also endorsed by American Car Rental Association, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, AAA, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Consumers Union, and State Farm Insurance.
 


 
Auto dealers and auto manufacturers trying to kill rental car safety bill
Representatives of the auto manufacturers and new car dealers testify against the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act, before the US Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Insurance and Product Safety
New car dealers and auto manufacturers are lobbying Congress behind the scenes in an attempt to derail the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Rental Car Safety Act, which would prohibit rental car companies from renting unsafe, recalled vehicles to the public unless the safety recall repairs have been performed.

The dealers complain that some of them own rental car companies on the side, and they don't want to lose any revenue from renting cars just because they're unsafe. The auto manufacturers argue that even though they made the defective cars, they shouldn't have to worry about compensating rental car companies for lost revenue when the vehicles are out of service, while the safety recall repairs are performed.

The dealers want to be able to pick and choose which safety recalls are serious enough to require them to fix the car first. That would also allow them to choose who ends up riding in the unsafe cars. Under current law, the dealers are prohibited from selling unsafe, recalled cars to consumers -- if the cars are NEW. But there's no law that keeps dealers from renting recalled cars to unsuspecting consumers.
 
The Moment of Truth:  Should rental car companies be allowed to rent cars to the public when they are under a safety recall?
According to polling commissioned by CARS, a whopping 86% of the public says NO.
What do the auto manufacturers and car dealers say? See for yourself:
 
 
Note: the car dealer representative also said that the dealers who own rental car companies should be the ones to decide which recalled cars are safe enough to keep renting, without getting them repaired. Instead of grounding unsafe, recalled cars until they're fixed, they prefer to "disclose" they're being recalled. Then if you drive a recalled rental car and are injured or killed, they can say that it was your fault because you "assumed the risk." Nevermind the fact they deliberately rented you an unsafe car.
 


BOXER PRAISES COMMITTEE PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO ENSURE SAFETY OF AMERICA’S RENTAL CAR CUSTOMERS
 
Legislation Would End the Practice of Renting or Selling Vehicles Under Safety Recall
 
abandoned auto sales lot
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today praised the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s passage of the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013, legislation that will ensure the safety of America’s rental car fleet by preventing rental car companies from renting or selling cars or trucks that are under safety recall. Senator Boxer is a lead sponsor of the bipartisan measure along with Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO). The bill passed the committee by a unanimous voice vote.

The legislation is named in honor of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, two sisters from Santa Cruz, ages 24 and 20, who were killed while driving a recalled Chrysler PT Cruiser they had rented from Enterprise in 2004. About a month before the deadly crash, Enterprise received a recall notice that the PT Cruiser had a defective power steering hose that was prone to catching fire and that it would be repaired by Chrysler free-of-charge. Despite the warning, Enterprise did not get the vehicle repaired and rented it out to three other customers before renting it to the Houck sisters. The defect caused the car to catch fire and crash head-on into a tractor-trailer, killing both sisters.

Cally Houck
Cally Houck
Their mother, Cally Houck, has since joined with consumer groups in support of the legislation, which would close a loophole in safety standards by requiring rental car companies to ground recalled vehicles as soon as they receive a safety recall notice and prohibit them from being rented or sold until they are fixed. Auto-dealers are already subject to these requirements and the bill would simply extend the same requirements to rental car companies.

“Today the Commerce Committee paid tribute to two of my California constituents who lost their lives in a senseless tragedy by passing the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act,” Senator Boxer said. “This bill will protect our families by keeping vehicles under safety recall off our roads, and I will be working hard to ensure its passage by the full Senate.”

“If this bill had been in effect when my daughters rented that recalled car, they would still be alive today,” said Cally Houck. “No other parents should have to suffer such a horrific loss because a rental car company hasn’t bothered to get an unsafe recalled car repaired.”

Sentators Boxer and Feinstein speaking together
Senator Charles Schumer
“We’re one major step closer to putting an end to ‘recalled rental car roulette',” added Rosemary Shahan, President of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety.

The legislation is supported by all of the major car rental companies – Hertz, Enterprise, Avis Budget and Dollar Thrifty – as well as Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Center for Auto Safety, Consumer Action, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, the National Association of Consumer Advocates and the Trauma Foundation.

###




SCHUMER, MURKOWSKI, BOXER, MCCASKILL INTRODUCE BILL BANNING RENTAL CAR COMPANIES FROM RENTING RECALLED VEHICLES TO CONSUMERS – LEGISLATION TO RECEIVE HEARING FOR FIRST TIME
 
Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013 That Would Close A Dangerous Loophole That Allows Rental Car Companies To Rent Or Sell Recalled Vehicles That Are Unlawful for Car Dealers to Sell

Legislation is Named for California Girls Killed When Recalled Rental Car Caught Fire and Has Support of Rental Car Industry – Bill to Receive Hearing in Commerce Subcommittee For the First Time

Senators: Keeping Defective and Potentially Dangerous Cars Off the Road Is a Matter of Life and Death


abandoned auto sales lot
Cally Houck holds a picture of her daughters.
Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced legislation that would ban car rental companies from allowing consumers to rent or sell vehicles that are under manufacturer recall. The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013 is supported by all the major car rental companies – Hertz, Enterprise, Avis Budget, Dollar Thrifty, and National – as well as the American Car Rental Association – together representing virtually 100 percent of the rental car market.

While current law prohibits car dealerships from selling recalled vehicles to consumers, no law bans rental car companies from doing the same or renting them to unsuspecting consumers. The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013 would keep unsafe rental cars that have been recalled off the road. Later this month, Senator Claire McCaskill, the Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, Consumer Protection Subcommittee, intends to hold a hearing on the bill.

“Rental car companies are rolling the dice with passengers’ lives each and every time they rent a car that’s under a recall,” said Senator Schumer. “This practice has already proved tragic. Most rental companies have now changed their policies, but we need a law to ensure that recalled cars are never again driven off of rental lots. This bipartisan bill is a common sense safety measure, and I’m very grateful that Senator McCaskill has agreed to hold a hearing on it.”

Sentators Boxer and Feinstein speaking together
Senator Charles Schumer
“This legislation honors the memory of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck – two beautiful girls who lost their lives in a senseless tragedy – by ensuring that no other family will have to fear that the rental car they are driving is unsafe,” said Senator Boxer. “Because of the tireless work of their mother, Cally, we are able to introduce this bipartisan bill today that will make sure that vehicles rented or sold by rental car companies are safe and sound.”

“Our goals for this legislation are twofold—to protect families, and to prevent undue burdens for employers—and this agreement succeeds on both fronts,” said McCaskill, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, which will hold a hearing on the legislation later this month. “Neither side got everything they wanted, but by everybody giving a little, we’re getting a lot—and that’s what compromise is all about.”

“No other family should have to endure such horrific losses just because a rental car company didn’t bother to ensure that their cars are not being recalled due to safety defects,” said Cally Houck, the mother of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck.

Rosemary Shahan, President of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety added, “We’re optimistic that Congress will act to stop all rental car companies from playing ‘rental car roulette’ with their customers’ lives.”

car rentals at the airport
Senator Barbara Boxer
In 2004, sisters Raechel and Jacqueline Houck were killed driving a rental car that had been recalled for a power steering hose defect but had not been repaired. The car caught fire because of the defect while traveling on the highway, causing a loss of steering and a head-on collision with a semi-trailer truck. The young women died in the crash. The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013 is needed to ensure this tragedy is not repeated.

Getting unsafe vehicles off the road is integral to improving safety and saving lives. This is why current law requires manufacturers to recall vehicles that have safety-related defects or do not meet federal safety standards. Current law also prohibits auto dealers from selling a new car under recall unless the defect has been remedied. The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013 would, for the first time, hold rental companies to the same standard as auto dealers. Specifically, the bill:
  • Prohibits Rental or Sale of Vehicles Subject to a Safety Recall. Under the senators’ plan, vehicles may not be rented or sold until the vehicles are fixed, consistent with existing law for new car dealers, who have been prohibited from selling or leasing recalled vehicles for decades. Rental companies would be permitted to sell a damaged vehicle subject to recall for parts or scrap with a junk title.
     
  • Requires Rental Companies to Ground Vehicles Under a Safety Recall. The bill would ensure that vehicles under a safety recall will be grounded as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours after the rental company gets the safety recall notice. Rental companies will have up to 48 hours for recalls that include more than 5,000 vehicles in their fleet.
     
  • Permits Rental Companies to Rely on Temporary Measures Identified by Manufacturers. If a manufacturer’s recall notice specifies steps that can be taken to eliminate the safety risk until parts are available, a rental company may continue to rent the vehicle if those measures are put in place but must ground and repair the vehicle once parts become available.
     
  • Ensures NHTSA Has Tools Necessary to Protect Consumers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will have authority to investigate and police rental companies' recall safety practices.
     
Rep. Lois Capps, Cally Houck, & Rosemary Shahan
US Rep. Lois Capps, joined by Cally Houck, and CARS president Rosemary Shahan, announces introduction of the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Rental Car Safety Act.
The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013 is supported by Carol (Cally) Houck – mother of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Center for Auto Safety, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Action, National Association of Consumer Advocates, and Trauma Foundation.

The bill has been endorsed by all the major car rental companies – Hertz, Enterprise, Avis Budget, Dollar Thrifty, and National – as well as the American Car Rental Association. The bill also is supported by the Truck Renting and Leasing Association, representing the vast majority of truck renting and leasing operations in the United States, as well as AAA and State Farm.

Enterprise
“Although most of the car rental industry already prohibits renting or selling recalled cars if they haven't been repaired, lawmakers can further reassure car rental customers across the board by supporting and voting in favor of this important federal legislation. As a result, we will continue advocating on behalf of this bill and working diligently with consumer advocates, the American Car Rental Association and other key stakeholders to help get it passed.”

The American Car Rental Association
“The American Car Rental Association (ACRA) is pleased to join with consumer advocates in support of this legislation, which prohibits the rental of any vehicle that has an unrepaired safety recall and addresses certain practical implementation issues of our industry. It is critically important that Congress codify what most of the car rental industry voluntarily enacted last year. By formally creating a uniform standard, both car-rental and car-sharing customers will have even greater confidence going forward no matter where they rent their vehicles.”

Hertz
“Hertz supports efforts to prohibit car rental companies from renting or selling recalled cars if they haven't been repaired. The major companies do an excellent job handling recalls, and consumers should have confidence that the cars they drive are safe; this legislation will help improve the public's perception of our industry's commitment to safety.”


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Brian Ross reporting for Good Morning America
      Brian Ross reporting for Good Morning America.
 
ABC News
Good Morning America
Brian Ross, reporting from New York
September 28, 2012
 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 27, 2012
 
USA Today
September 27, 2012
 
Rental car safety battle gathers momentum
Rep. Lois Capps, Aaron Medina, Cally Houck, & Rosemary Shahan
US Rep. Lois Capps, joined by Hertz Division Vice President Aaron Medina, Cally Houck, and CARS president Rosemary Shahan, announces introduction of the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Rental Car Safety Act.
U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. Engel, and Rep. Schakowsky
introduce new bill named for Raechel and Jacqueline Houck;
Bill gains bi-partisan support
 
In a major step forward for rental car safety, U.S. Congressional Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Jan Shakowsky (D-IL) have introduced the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Rental Car Safety Act of 2012 in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA), has agreed to co-sponsor the bill. Cally Houck, Raechel and Jacquie's mother, is a constituent of Rep. Gallegly's and had personally reached out to him to seek his support. "I am profoundly grateful that these members of Congress are spearheading the fight to ensure our highways are safe from dangerous rental cars," said Cally Houck.

The bill, H.R. 6094, will require rental car companies to ground unsafe, recalled vehicles until they are fixed. The language in H.R. 6094 is the same as in the agreement reached between CARS and Hertz Rental Car Co., which has been helping lobby for its enactment.

Enterprise, Avis and Dollar Thrifty have refused to support the bill. Enterprise still insists that the legislation needs to be watered down to allow the company to delay having to ground recalled cars. Its excuse? Enterprise claims that takes the company time to notify its employees about the hazardous cars in a timely way. However, this directly contradicts what Enterprise told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In an April 7, 2011 letter to NHTSA, Enterprise wrote that "In 2005 we created reporting software that allowed us to track the completion of recall work and more recently we created new recall management software which allows us to alert our regional subsidiaries about recall notices in real-time." So -- if that's true, what's their problem?

This raises another question -- since Hertz says it can handle safety recalls in time, without further delays, why can't Enterprise do the same?

Read more: at Rep. Lois Capps fights to end "rental car roulette"
Santa Barbara Independent
July 10, 2012
 
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Hertz, Enterprise at odds over changes to car-rental risks
car rentals at the airport
Will all the rental companies ever agree to put consumers first?
Philadelphia Enquirer
June 25, 2012
by Jeff Gelles
 
"In hindsight, many of the vehicle crashes that kill more than 30,000 people a year in the United States seem utterly senseless — avoidable if a drunk had just stayed off the road, a distracted driver had let a text go unanswered, or a commercial driver had been better rested or less worried about the costs of delay.

Even in that sad litany, the deaths of Jacqueline and Raechel Houck stand out: preventable by a simple fix in car-rental practices. Yet, after two years of crusading to get rental-car companies to change their ways, their bereaved mother, Carol "Cally" Houck, still hasn't quite succeeded."

Read more: at Philly.com
 
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Cally Houck pushes rental car companies to stop leasing out unsafe, recalled cars
abandoned auto sales lot
    Cally Houck sits by pictures of her daughters.
Huffington Post
June 20, 2012
By Sharon Silke Carty
 
"Cally Houck wants rental car companies to promise they won't rent or sell a vehicle until any safety recall issue is addressed. So far, only one rental car company -- Hertz Rental -- has promised to permanently stop the practice. Other companies have said they are on board, but won't promise to never rent a recalled vehicle and not fixed.

"It's so simple, so simple," Houck said. The rental companies "just don't want to be told what to do." Houck has found a ally in the Senate in Boxer, who is planning to introduce a bill similar to one proposed last year by Sen. Chuck Schumer.

On May 7, Boxer gave the major car rental companies 30 days to sign a pledge saying they would stop renting recalled vehicles. She announced last week that only Hertz made that commitment"

Read more: at The Huffington Post
 
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Will Enterprise / National / Alamo, Avis / Budget, and Dollar / Thrifty
take Sen. Boxer's rental car safety pledge?
 
Blumenfield testifies for AB 1215
There would be more photos of these sisters today, if this bill had been passed 8 years ago.
Senator Boxer fights for rental car safety
San Jose Mercury News - Santa Cruz Sentinel report
by Jondi Gumz
May 24, 2012


Sen. Barbara Boxer is fighting to close the regulatory loophole that allowed Enterprise Rent-A-Car to let Raechel and Jacqueline Houck of Santa Cruz drive away in 2004 in a recalled PT Cruiser with a safety defect that crashed and killed the two young women.....

She commended Hertz for pledging to stop renting out vehicles under safety recall until the defect has been remedied.

She informed Enterprise chairman and chief executive officer Andrew Taylor that temporarily halting the rental of unrepaired vehicles under safety recall is not satisfactory. She wants a permanent suspension as well as a stop to sales of recalled vehicles on the wholesale market.

She informed Avis that its policy falls short of the safety pledge she is seeking

Read more: www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20701653/boxer-fighting-rental-car-safety

Senator Boxer's letter to Enterprise / National / Alamo
Senator Boxer's letter to Avis / Budget
Senator Boxer's letter to Hertz

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Senator Boxer praises Hertz for taking her rental car safety pledge,
Blumenfield testifies for AB 1215
Sen. Boxer urges rental companies not to rent or sell recall cars.
but Enterprise and Avis fail to take pledge

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today sent a letter to Enterprise Rent-a-Car CEO Andrew Taylor urging his company to commit to permanently stop renting or selling vehicles under safety recall to consumers. While Enterprise agreed in a letter to Senator Boxer this week to temporarily stop renting vehicles under safety recall, they have fallen short of satisfying the Senator’s safety pledge by maintaining the right to sell recalled vehicles on the wholesale market and failing to permanently end the practice of renting or selling cars and trucks under safety recall.

Senator Boxer said, “To fulfill the pledge, you would need to agree to immediately stop selling recalled vehicles on the wholesale market, and agree to permanently – not temporarily – stop renting or selling all vehicles under safety recall.”

On May 7, Senator Boxer sent letters asking all of the major rental car companies to agree to take this simple voluntary pledge within 30 days: “Effective immediately, our company is making a permanent commitment to not rent out or sell any vehicles under safety recall until the defect has been remedied.” Among the major companies, only Hertz – which had already stopped the practice – agreed to meet the promise in the pledge.

Read more: boxer.senate.gov/en/press/releases/052412.cfm

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Had a bad rental car experience?
Know someone hurt by an unsafe rental car?  Tell us your story here.
 
 
Enterprise Rent-a-Car (also owner of the National and Alamo brands), Avis-Budget, and Dollar-Thrifty are putting their customers' lives at risk by renting out cars that are so unsafe, they are being recalled by the manufacturer. We believe you should not have to worry about your family's safety just because the rental car company neglected to get an unsafe car fixed. To its credit, Hertz agrees with us, and is now working with CARS in Congress to change the law, to require all rental car companies to ground recalled cars until they're fixed.

But --Enterprise-National-Alamo, Avis-Budget, and Dollar-Thrifty disagree. They want to be allowed to keep renting and selling unsafe cars. Especially over major holidays. That's when they may run out of safe cars, and can't meet the increased demand without resorting to cars that are under a recall.

abandoned auto sales lot
Enterprise rental car that killed Raechel & Jacquie Houck
That's why we're fighting to prevent tragic incidents like the one that resulted in the deaths of Jacqueline and Raechel Houck, ages 20 and 24, who were killed by an unsafe Enterprise rental car -- that was under a safety recall. They were told they were getting an "upgrade." Instead, they were being rented a vehicle that caught on fire and caused their deaths. It also put others who shared the roads in danger.

Please help stop rental car companies from putting lives at risk in vehicles so unsafe, they are being recalled by the manufacturer, under a federal mandate.

How can you guard against unsafe, recalled rental cars?
Don't rely on what the clerk behind the counter tells you. Unfortunately, they have a conflict of interest and may not even know the answer, or may lie.

If you have a smart phone or other device with internet access, get the Vehicle Identification Number of the car the rental car company is offering to rent to you. Go to the manufacturer's website and in the search box, enter "safety recall." Then enter the VIN number to see if there's a pending safety recall, or if the repairs have been completed.

If you don't have access to the internet, ask the clerk to use the company's computer to check the manufacturer's website and print off the report on the car, including the VIN, and hand it to you. Make sure the VIN on the report matches the VIN on the car. It should be on a tag on the dashboard, and also on a sticker on the driver's door jamb.


Take action -- how can you stop rental car roulette?

Protect yourself and your family. Insist on checking the VIN for safety recalls before you sign anything.

If you reserved your car online through an airline or another website -- they have clout with the rental car companies. Comment on the airline's Facebook page that you want them to ensure that their contract with the rental car company prohibits renting cars that are under a safety recall.

Complain on the rental car company's Facebook page about their policies. If they hear from enough of us, they will have to stop trying to kill the safety law, and ground unsafe cars until they're fixed.


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Rental car companies risk customers' safety,
abandoned auto sales lot
A 2010 Chevy Impala from Enterprise's sales inventory
order cars that are missing vital safety equipment.

Safety shocker:  Enterprise Rental Cars has publicly admitted that it ordered 66,000 Chevrolet Impalas and another 5,000 Chevy Cobalts and Buick LaCrosses from General Motors that were missing the side air bags -- even though they were standard equipment on those cars. Side air bags have been proven to dramatically reduce the risk of serious injury or death in side-impact collisions. General Motors allowed fleet purchasers such as Enterprise the option to order cars with missing safety features, and provided them a discount of $175 per car. No doubt the companies knew their customers would be none the wiser -- unless they were in a crash.

Then Enterprise sold the deceptively packaged cars in the used car market, misleading car dealers and consumers into believing the cars were equipped with side air bags, when they knew the safety devices were missing. They touted the vehicles' safety features, including side air bags, in advertisements. Enterprise concealed the fact they had deliberately ordered the Impalas without the side air bags. Bottom line: Enterprise --which took in over $14 Billion last year -- went out of its way to put their customers at greater risk of death or injury, to save a mere $175 per car.

Investigation finds Enterprise sold Chevy Impalas missing standard side air bags

Read more: www.saferoads.org/investigation-finds-enterprise-rent-car-sold-chevy-impalas-without-standard-side-air-bags

Enterprise also ordered vehicles that were missing optional side air bags, placing its customers at greater risk of serious death or injury. Among those who were injured in Enterprise vehicles without optional side air bags: an Iraq war vet who returned from deployment in Iraq, in good health. Until the car he rented from Enterprise spun out on slick pavement, rendering him quadriplegic.

Read more: www.dolanmedia.com/view.cfm?recID=664199

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Rental Car Recall
abandoned auto sales lot
Unsafe Enterprise rental car collided with 18-wheeler
 
From CBS Sacramento, Channel 13:

"A California mother made an emotional plea at the State Capitol after losing her two daughters to a horrific crash blamed on a recalled vehicle. Cally Houck lost her two daughters, 24-year-old Raechel and 20-year-old Jacqueline near Kings City in Central California in 2004. They lost control of the Chrysler PT Cruiser they had rented."

See report: Call Kurtis: Rental Car Recall

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New California bill targets rental car companies
abandoned auto sales lot
Credit: How Stuff Works
 
From ABC -- KGO-TV San Francisco, Channel 7:

"Consumer groups are applauding a bill introduced in Sacramento that would stop car rental companies from renting out vehicles that are facing a safety recall."

See report: New Calif. bill targets rental car companies
 
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Assemblyman Monning to introduce rental car safety bill
abandoned auto sales lot
Carol "Cally" Houck and Assemblymember Bill Monning
 
SANTA CRUZ - Rental cars recalled for safety reasons would be grounded until repairs are made if a bill proposed by Assemblyman Bill Monning, D-Carmel, becomes law.

Monning said a "loophole" in federal law allows rental car companies to rent out vehicles that are under recall while new car dealers are prohibited from selling new cars under recall until they are repaired.

He is expected to introduce AB 753 this morning at a news conference in Sacramento.

He said the measure was prompted by the death of two Santa Cruz residents, Raechel Houck, 24, and her sister, Jacqueline, 20, in a fiery crash in 2004 while driving a PT Cruiser rented from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The car had been recalled for a defective power steering hose prone to catch fire, but it hadn't been repaired.

Read report: Santa Cruz Sentinel; by Jondi Gumz

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New California legislation introduced to stop rental car companies from renting out vehicles under safety recalls
abandoned auto sales lot
Sisters Raechel and Jacqueline Houck
 
Assemblymember Bill Monning introduces bill...

which is sponsored by C.A.R.S. and named for Raechel and Jacqueline Houck

Read more: News release

Read more: Copy of the bill, at the California State Senate website;
                  Senate page with links to related documents
 
Heated debate over rental car safety -- check out video of champions making impassioned pleas for safety, versus foes of safety bill. One legislator claims it's no big deal if you're rented a car with windshield wipers that don't work...
 
Watch the official video here: C.A.R.S. official YouTube page: AB 753 part 1
Watch part 2 of the video here: AB 753 part 2

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Rental Car Companies Play "Rental Car Roulette" with Your Family's Safety
abandoned auto sales lot
Credit: ABC News
 
Sen. Schumer introduces Rental Car Safety Act.

Rental car companies insist: "Trust us to pick and choose" which unsafe cars they can rent, and who gets stuck renting them.

Read more: ABC News report: Sen. Schumer demands --
fix dangerous rental car loophole:   March 3, 2011


Read more: Recalled rental cars go unrepaired, auto officials say:
Detroit News - February 25, 2011

 
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C.A.R.S. Mission
CARS is a national, award-winning,
non-profit auto safety and consumer
advocacy organization working to
save lives, prevent injuries, and
to protect consumers from
auto-related fraud and abuse.

 
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What's NEW?
Toyota recalls over 6.39 million vehicles over safety defects
Toyota Motor Corp is recalling more than 6.39 million vehicles globally after uncovering five different safety defects, ranging from faulty steering to air bags that may not inflated when needed in a crash.

Toyota said it was not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the defects, which occur in 27 Toyota models including 2009-2010 Corollas, 2009-2010 Matrixes, 2008-2010 Highlanders, 2009-2010 Tacoma trucks, 2006-2008 RAV4s and 2006-2010 Yaris compact cars.

Toyota agreed last month to pay $1.2 billion to the U.S. government for withholding information related to unintended acceleration in its vehicles. That safety crisis led Toyota to recall more than 9 million vehicles.

Toyota is recalling 3.5 million vehicles to replace a spiral cable that may be damaged when the steering wheel is turned. That could cause the air bag to fail in a crash.

Another 472,500 vehicles, including 2006-2010 Yaris hatchbacks, 2007-2010 Yaris sedans and 2008-2010 Scion xDs, are being recalled in the U.S. due to faulty seat rails that could allow the seat to slide forward in a crash, injuring the driver or passengers.

Read More:
Los Angeles Times: Massive Toyota recall
 
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Buyer beware: NEVER trust that a dealer will have the safety recall repairs performed before selling you a car that is being recalled. Dealers are so eager to make a buck, fast, they are unwilling to delay sales long enough to get the safety recall repairs done -- for FREE.

Plus -- dealers are actively opposing legislation in Washington, DC and in California that would prohibit them from renting, selling, leasing, or loaning unsafe, recalled vehicles to consumers, unless the safety recall repairs have been performed first.

CARS’ tips on how to buy a safe, reliable used car — without having to risk going to a dealer:

Top 12 used car buying tips

Dealers playing “used car roulette” with customers’ lives — and opposing legislation to make them stop

Did a dealer sell you an unsafe, recalled car? We want to hear your story. Contact CARS

 
Buyer Beware! Auto dealers' one-
sided contracts can ruin your life
Even if the dealer breaks the law, you might not be able to get justice. Forced arbitration clauses hidden in the fine print can keep you tied up for years. The dealer even gets to pick the arbitrator who hears your case. Here's what happened to a car buyer in San Diego:
Think this is outrageous? Call your member of Congress at 202-224-3121, and urge them to vote for the Arbitration Fairness Act. More about the AFA, now pending before Congress:
http://www.fairarbitrationnow.org
 
Here's what we're doing to bring
more attention to Jon's plight:
UsedCarNightmare.org
 
Used Car Nightmare logo

Jon Perz has started a new petition
on the Change.org website
 
You're invited to check it out and send a message letting Mossy Toyota know what you think.


 
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