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U.S. Congress: Time To Pass Safe Rental Car Act

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Raechel & Jacqueline HouckIt's time for Congress to pass Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act. If you don't know Raechel and Jacquie's story, you can read about how Enterprise Rent-A-Car rented the girls a defective vehicle that ended up killing them.

You see, car dealers are banned from selling recalled vehicles before the safety defects are repaired. Rental car companies are not. Many car rental companies – Enterprise, in particular – take advantage of this safety loophole to rent out vehicles the company knows to have safety defects subject to recall… without ever telling their customers. These companies effectively play rental car roulette with their customers' lives.

Enterprise Holdings, Inc. controls and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Rental Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and WeCar.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers have sponsored and endorsed the federal Safe Rental Car Act. It's time for them to pass this bill.

Unsurprisingly, Enterprise opposed the Safe Rental Car Act for months before abruptly changing its stance due to public outcry. After receiving more than 130,000 signatures protesting Enterprise's policy of renting defective vehicles, it changed its stance… or did it?

While Enterprise says it "supports" the bill, it is trying to insert loopholes that would allow it to continue to rent vehicles that have been recalled for safety defects.

"There are practical considerations — including time needed to review recall notices, identify affected vehicles and later all branch offices and employees — and we have requested that lawmakers take such reasonable constraints into account."

– Christy Conrad, Enterprise spokesperson via Ventura County Star

Enterprise claims "practical" considerations necessitate these loopholes. Nothing Ms. Conrad noted requires any special time. Recall notices can be downloaded automatically. Enterprise and other car rental companies have sophisticated inventory software that allows them to identify and locate vehicles immediately. A simple text message, instant message, email, phone call, or inventory management alert would notify all employees and branch offices of the recall and that these vehicle should be put out of service until repaired.

Other rental car companies – including Hertz – have endorsed the bill as written.

"It's vital for car rental customers to have confidence that the vehicles they rent are safe to drive. For that reason, it is longstanding Hertz policy that, without exception, we do not rent cars subject to a safety recall until they have been repaired. It has become clear to use over the past year that universal consumer confidence on this issue will be achieved only if a federal law is enacted by Congress to make our policy the law of the land. Hertz will work hard to enact this law, and we urge the rest of the rental industry to join us now. Our industry will achieve long-term and significant benefits, as well as competitive advantages, if consumers know their safety is our top priority."

– Rich Broome, Hertz Rent-A-Car Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs via The Hill

It's time for Congress to act with some common sense and pass this law.

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  1. KevinVictor says:
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    One must be aware of these updates… Thanks for the post..