Raechel and Jacqueline Houck poseBowing to pressure from consumers and advocacy groups, major car rental companies have agreed to end the practice of renting cars that have been recalled for safety problems.

Legislators are introducing a bill to the Senate that would keep recalled rental cars off the road. The bill has the backing of all four major rental companies – Enterprise, which owns National and Alamo, Hertz/Advantage, Avis/Budget and Dollar/Thrifty, according to a statement released by Sen. Barbara Boxer. Those companies comprise 93 percent of the rental car market, and Hertz was the only one of the four major car rental companies to initially pledge not to rent cars under recall.

The bill will be named after Raechel and Jacqueline Houck (above, right), two young California sisters who died in 2004 in a rented Chrysler PT Cruiser that had been previously recalled for problems with the steering column. The steering fluid was prone to leaking, leaving drivers unable to control their vehicles. Enterprise Rental hadn't fixed the problem before renting the car to the Houck sisters.

"I remain very hopeful and optimistic" that the legislation will pass, Cally Houck, Raechel and Jacqueline's mother tells Autoblog. Houck has been pushing for the new legislation for the past few years. "But it's not done yet ... I remain a bit cynical, based on my history lobbying for this issue. But we do have a consensus of all the industry's major players."


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  • 35 Comments
      David
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why was this not already in place? The fact that there is a recall implies a safety issue that needs to be remedied. ANY company that puts people at risk by not adhering to a recall notice should be severely punished. Once again it's a case of profits over people. It shows a willingness on the part of companies to weigh the cost of pulling a product against the cost of paying out for damages done. They rarely factor in the intangible of the emotional cost to families of those lost or hurt.
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      So they deserve a pat on the back? If my vehicle gets a recall - I get it fixed right away. Anyone who doesn't is a withering dolt. I have the same expectations of the companies I pay money to for a rental car. That being said... I wonder what the reaction of The two girls would have been if they had been told "I'm very sorry but thanks to an eff up by chrysler - we can't rent you a car right now". They probably would have been rather upset...
        clquake
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        I don't think they'd be that upset if they told them they would crash and die if they took the car.
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      Very sad to lose two beautiful faces like that. My 2012 mustang GT had power assit fail. Yep, it stated my the info screen. Since it is power by an electric motor and not a pump it was a little hard to move. To service you go pony.
        Fermat1313
        • 2 Years Ago
        @protovici
        So, if they had been ugly, would it have been less sad?
      • 2 Years Ago
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        Sean Conrad
        • 2 Years Ago
        If you expect the car requires a certain amount of force to turn, that's how much you use. If you suddenly have to apply 10x as much, you're going to have a bad day.
      • 2 Years Ago
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      • 2 Years Ago
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        Walt
        • 2 Years Ago
        Toyota failed to install a floor anchor for the drivers side mat, giving us "zip tie gate" as their solution to their oversight. In addition, Toyota had sticky accelerator pedals. Combined both problems resulted in over 10 million Toyota's recalled. But keep trying to absolve Toyota of wrongdoing.
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        http://autos.aol.com/info/recall/ Seems to be a WHOLE LOT of recalls from companies other than Chrysler on that page.
        imtoomuch1
        • 2 Years Ago
        over9000, you're an idiot. Enough said.
          debstarrett
          • 2 Years Ago
          @imtoomuch1
          imtoomuch1, you are also an idiot, what are you like 12 years old?
        lordedardstark1
        • 2 Years Ago
        Yes, and you san still control a vehicle with no power steering.
          clquake
          • 2 Years Ago
          @lordedardstark1
          If you're going around a corner and you loose power steering, you will find yourself slamming into something.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
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        tlakota35
        • 2 Years Ago
        I didn't realize that cars are required by law to have power steering. Learn something new everyday. Then again, maybe they're not.
      • 2 Years Ago
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      Cory Stansbury
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unable to control the vehicle? Really? I drove a car without the PS compressor hooked up for 18 months. Never even came close to an event...most of the time I didn't even notice. You only notice a lot at really low speeds.
      HAT1701D
      • 2 Years Ago
      Going to be hard to start finding rentals then. Let's first...knock the new Escape off the list, safety recall. Chevy Cruze...off the list, safety recall - engine fires. Any vehicles that have recently had throttle issues.....gone. So on, so forth......
      Eric Cameron
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't understand when they mean not renting/selling cars that have been recalled for safety. Isn't that practically ALL cars? I think the bill should lean more towards "they cannot rent/sell cars that have not been sent to be fixed, and it is the rental companies responsiblity to make sure it's done immediately."
      Mach5Cars
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is very pathetic, why it was happen? probably the company not bother to check the repairing after the repairing was done, but a small mistake got two lives. Really very sad
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