Enterprise Joins Hertz For Legislation on Recalled Vehicle Repairs

Enterprise Joins Hertz For Legislation on Recalled Vehicle Repairs

Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced its formal support for federal legislation to oversee the way car rental companies manage the safety recall process for vehicles in their fleets, joining Hertz in the fight.

Hertz recently turned to the government hoping for help enforcing priority recall repairsfor fleet vehicles over privately owned cars. The news comes at a critical time for Enterprise, since much of this debate circles around the fact that they accepted responsibility for the deaths of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, who were driving a rented vehicle from Enterprise that had been recalled, but not repaired.

“The vehicle was under recall at the time. The tragedy of the Houck sisters’ deaths can never be undone, and all of us at Enterprise are profoundly sorry,” Enterprise said in an email.

The accident occurred in 2004, but ongoing discussion around this issue began two years ago and it appears that a movement will ensure timely repairs on recalled vehicles. Enterprise originally believed that the additional oversight was not necessary, but have since changed their stance.

“But even with all of these safeguards, a number of individuals and organizations have asked for additional oversight in the form of federal legislation. In the past, we believed that this step was unnecessary, but a growing number of people, including our customers and business partners, clearly want more assurance on this critical issue. We hear them – and what we’ve heard has caused us to rethink our stance.”

  • Cally Houck

    Unfortunately, despite Enterprise’s press release stating it no longer opposes federal legislative oversight, it does NOT support legislation now pending in Congress and endorsed by Hertz. Neither Enterprise, nor the lesser Avis, support the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Rental Car Safety Act, unlike Hertz who publicly endorses that bill. All safety recalls have potential to be life-threatening. The National Transportation and Safety Administration states that “all safety recalls resulting from defects present an unreasonable risk to safety”. A faulty defrost system could impair visibility to the driver, perhaps causing even a momentary loss of control, swerving head-on into a van carrying a family of five. What is it about putting consumer safety first that Enterprise is so reluctant to do? It’s a billion-dollar company. Why doesn’t Enterprise (and Avis) just endorse the current legislation in Congress, instead of spending millions in lobbyist fees to circumvent common sense safety standards? Did you know that if a commercial business KNOWINGLY puts recalled produce, food or medicine into the stream of commerce, criminal charges may result? Enterprise skates free every time, even though its persistent indifference to its customer’s safety has resulted in catastrophic injury and death.

  • Cally Houck

    Unfortunately, your article is incorrect. Enterprise continues to oppose pending and announced legislation that will effectively ban the practice of renting, leasing and selling cars under safety recall. IT HAS NOT JOINED HERTZ, who has endorsed the aforementioned legislation.

    The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration provides that “all safety recalls resulting from defects present and UNREASONABLE risk to safety and we believe it is INAPPROPRIATE to suggest that some defects are not risky enough to require repair. For the safety of the motoring public, ALL recalled vehicles should be fixed promptly.”* Here is the issue: Enterprise wants to “re-write” the recall laws, in order that it may continue to rent out cars under safety recall. If Enterprise truly wanted to protect is customers who generate billions of dollars in revenue, they would join with Hertz in endorsing current legislation on rental car safety. Enterprise continue to obstruct what is a very simple and direct proposal: Do Not Rent, Lease, Sell Cars to the Public that are under safety recall and not repaired. Simple yes? Ask why Enterprise continues to obfuscate on this “no-brainer” requirement. Hertz has it right. Enterprise…..not so much.

    *Statement provided by NHTSA at request of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety.