Reported by Change.org, Cally Houck’s two daughters, Raechel and Jacquie, rented a PT Cruiser from Enterprise Rent-a-Car in 2004. What they didn’t know about their car was it had been recalled for serious safety problems a month earlier, and that Enterprise didn’t fix the car.
Raechel and Jacquie’s rental car caught on fire because of the very issue that prompted the recall. The young women crashed their fiery car into a tractor-trailer, killing them both.
In just a matter of days, Congress is set to consider a new law that would force rental car companies to fix recalled cars, but Enterprise Rent-a-Car is lobbying against it — and hard. Enterprise’s opposition could block the bill, allowing Enterprise to continue to ignore car recalls like the one that killed Cally Houck’s daughters.
Cally Houck has dedicated herself to making sure that rental car companies fix recalled vehicles so no other parent loses her daughters to rental cars that are known to be unsafe. She says it’s critical to stop Enterprise’s opposition now, before they kill the law. Cally started a petition on Change.org asking Enterprise Rent-a-Car CEO Andrew Taylor to stop opposing the law to force rental car companies to repair recalled vehicles.
These two young women weren’t the first to die from rental cars under recall, and they weren’t the last, according to a USA Today report this weekend. Despite knowing the risks, companies like Enterprise choose to keep unsafe cars on the road.
When a vehicle is recalled because of safety or performance issues, the government says all vehicles should be fixed immediately. That why car dealerships aren’t allowed to sell new or used cars under recall that haven’t yet been fixed.
For Cally, it’s hard to imagine why rental car companies would be okay with renting cars that they knew to be unsafe. Before her daughters rented the car that killed them, three other customers had rented it from Enterprise after the safety recall.
There is hope — Hertz, a major rental car company, bucked its competitors and is actually supporting this new law. Cally hopes that by calling attention to Hertz’s willingness to protect its customers — and by showing that Enterprise is willing to let customers drive what she calls “ticking time bombs” like the one that killed her daughters — Enterprise will stop opposing this law.