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New York - 5 Major Rental Car Companies Agree On Recall Plan

Published on: September 27, 2012 09:34 PM
By: AP
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New York - When Cally Houck lost her two daughters in the wreck of what turned out to be a defective rental car, she thought there must be a rule keeping those vehicles off the road.

“There had to be some sort of law that prohibits this practice,” the California lawyer said of unrepaired rentals leased after safety recalls. “We learned there was no such law.”

So she took up the cause, knowing she couldn’t bring her daughters back but hoping she might help save others.

On Thursday, Houck joined Democratic U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Barbara Boxer of California at an announcement in Washington that five of the biggest names in car rentals nationwide have agreed to support legislation that would make it illegal to lease recalled vehicles.

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Raechel, 24, and Jacqueline Houck, 20, were killed in a 2004 head-on crash when a power steering hose defect in a Chrysler PT Cruiser caused a fire and the car ran out of control. The Enterprise rental was under a safety recall but hadn’t been fixed.

While the senators praised Houck’s advocacy along with automotive safety groups that pushed the issue, she thanked the lawmakers and industry “in memory of my treasured daughters.”

She said the proposed law is “common-sense legislation that will prevent tragedies like my family endured.”

Schumer said the agreement involving Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Dollar Thrifty and National will pave the way for the bill he expects will be passed during the upcoming lame duck session of Congress.

“This historic agreement will be a major improvement in auto safety, particularly since rental car companies are the largest purchases of new vehicles in the nation,” a coalition of consumer groups and relatives said in a statement.

Hertz officials said the company adopted the provisions in January.

“We are pleased the rest of the rental car industry is now fully supportive,” said Richard D. Broome, senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications at Hertz.

Schumer said the companies involved in the agreement represent 93 percent of the rental car industry. National and Enterprise are operated by the same company.

The companies have worked with the senators on the legislation and support the effort, according to a letter signed by executives from each company.

No law now prohibits the leasing of cars under safety recalls, according to AAA, the national auto club and lobbyist.

“AAA views this legislation as a common-sense solution that would help keep unsafe vehicles off the road,” AAA President Robert L. Darbelnet said.


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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 27, 2012 at 10:53 PM Anonymous Says:

i dont see how a rent a car is different then a personal car. if the car is recalled it should be off the road regardless of owner. the law should be that if a car has a recall it should not pass the state inspection. leave the rental companies out of this.

2

 Sep 28, 2012 at 08:07 AM benalt Says:

They should be charged with causing someone's death.

3

 Sep 28, 2012 at 08:24 AM CTJEW Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

i dont see how a rent a car is different then a personal car. if the car is recalled it should be off the road regardless of owner. the law should be that if a car has a recall it should not pass the state inspection. leave the rental companies out of this.

A rental car is very different from a personal car. The manufacturer notrifies the owner of the car that it is subject to a safety recall. If you get a notice for your personal car, you call the dealer and get an appointment to fix the problem. You may stop driving the car until it is fioxed and not let others drive the car either. You make an INFORMED decision. That rental car at the airport lot in NY may be owned by a corporation in Wichita. The rental agent doesn't know that HQ got a recall notice a week ago, rents it and the passengers are hurt and killed.
The renters cannot make an informed decision whether or not to accept a particular rental car if it is not disclosed by the counter agent that the car is subject to a safety recall.
>>>>>>>
Concerning your second point, that if a car has a recall it should not pass state inspection

4

 Sep 28, 2012 at 08:27 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

i dont see how a rent a car is different then a personal car. if the car is recalled it should be off the road regardless of owner. the law should be that if a car has a recall it should not pass the state inspection. leave the rental companies out of this.

Continued...
regarding your second point that a car should not pass state inspection if it has a recall. What if the recall is issued the day after the car is inspected? Then the car could be on the road with a valid inspection sticker for 364 days subject to recall. OR>>>what if the rental car is registered in a state that does not have annual inspection???? Here in Connecticut, we have emmissions (pollution) inspectionsevery two years, but cars are not subject to annual inspections such as in NY or Masachusetts.
The rental companies cannopt be left out of this. They have a duty to disclose that they have been notified that the vehicle has been recalled for a safety problem and not fixed.

5

 Sep 28, 2012 at 09:08 AM Be Aware of Car Rental Businesses Says:

There have been times when I've rented a car, that the automobile needed an alignment, as there was too much play in the steering wheel. The auto renter knew of this defect, but was too lazy and cheap to have the car repaired. Another time, the tires were defective. The problem is that when one rents a car, he/she has no knowledge of the maintenance history of that specific car. All these auto renters want to do, is rent you the most expensive car on the lot, and pressure you to buy insurance which is not needed, and which is in fact duplicated by one's personal automobile insurance policy, in most cases.

6

 Sep 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM {Ploni Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Continued...
regarding your second point that a car should not pass state inspection if it has a recall. What if the recall is issued the day after the car is inspected? Then the car could be on the road with a valid inspection sticker for 364 days subject to recall. OR>>>what if the rental car is registered in a state that does not have annual inspection???? Here in Connecticut, we have emmissions (pollution) inspectionsevery two years, but cars are not subject to annual inspections such as in NY or Masachusetts.
The rental companies cannopt be left out of this. They have a duty to disclose that they have been notified that the vehicle has been recalled for a safety problem and not fixed.

Are you, Anonymous #4, replying to Anonymous #1? Or perhaps Anonymous #4 is the same person as Anonymous #1? In any case, where is the first part of Anonymous #4's message?

Now do you understand the need to stop for perhaps two seconds and choose yourselves simple screen names? It would eliminate so much confusion.

It's not against halacha, nobody need recognize who you are (unless you are silly enough to put down your real name!) and it makes life that much easier for everybody else.

7

 Sep 28, 2012 at 02:45 PM CTJEW Says:

Reply to #6  
{Ploni Says:

Are you, Anonymous #4, replying to Anonymous #1? Or perhaps Anonymous #4 is the same person as Anonymous #1? In any case, where is the first part of Anonymous #4's message?

Now do you understand the need to stop for perhaps two seconds and choose yourselves simple screen names? It would eliminate so much confusion.

It's not against halacha, nobody need recognize who you are (unless you are silly enough to put down your real name!) and it makes life that much easier for everybody else.

Don't know why the continuation of my post came up as anonymous, I have nothing to hide.....I am always signed in as CTJEW (a 5th generation American Jew who practices law in CT) For some reason, the system grabbed and posted the first half of my post before I was finished and omitted my screen name from the continuation.

8

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