On May 1, the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives by a bipartisan group of legislators.
Identical bills — S. 1173 and H.R. 2198 — were introduced by Sens. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Boxer (D-Calif.) and McCaskill (D-Mo.) in the Senate and by Reps. Capps (D-Calif.), Jones (R-N.C.), Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Schakowsky (D-Ill.) in the House, according to a press release from the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS).
The legislation would require car rental companies to "ground" (take out of rental service) vehicles subject to a federal safety recall until repairs are made. And it would prohibit car rental companies from selling vehicles from their fleets with open safety recalls.
The House and Senate legislation is backed by Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS), the American Car Rental Association (ACRA) and AAA, as well as Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; Center for Auto Safety; Consumers Union; Consumer Federation of America; Consumer Action; National Association of Consumer Advocates and Trauma Foundation; and Truck Renting and Leasing Association.
"It's been over 10 years since my beautiful, treasured daughters Raechel and Jacqueline were killed by an unsafe, recalled rental car," said Cally Houck, a long-time champion on federal action on car rental recall safety. "All of the major rental car companies, and many of the smaller ones, have been working on our side to make the federal legislation named after my daughters the law of the land. It's time for Congress to act, to protect ALL families from suffering our devastating loss."
"The American public is overwhelmingly in favor of ensuring that rental cars are safe to drive and that any federal safety recalls have been repaired before the vehicles are rented or sold," said Rosemary Shahan, president of CARS, a California-based auto safety group. "We have worked with the car rental industry and our champions on Capitol Hill to arrive at this common-sense bill that should be passing unanimously. The president is eager to sign this legislation. It's time for Congress to get off the dime."
"The safety of our customers is of paramount importance to the members of ACRA," said Sharon Faulkner, executive director of the American Car Rental Association (ACRA). "Because our members' vehicles travel freely across state lines in interstate commerce, ACRA supports one federal rental vehicle safety recall standard rather than a patchwork of potentially conflicting state laws. Since the primary stakeholders — customers, car rental companies and consumer safety advocates — agree on our support for these bills, we hope Congress will take quick action on them."