In a statement to the press on Tuesday, which can be viewed in CNN's video above, Sen. Barbara Boxer said that in her requests to major car rental companies to sign a recall pledge, responses made by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Avis Budget Group and Dollar Thrifty did not meet her recall pledge statement issued May 7.
Boxer gave the companies 30 days to respond, and said on Tuesday that Hertz was the only company that agreed to the pledge. While she received responses from Avis Budget Group and Enterprise within the 30-day period, she was still waiting on the two companies to “meet the promise in the pledge,” she said in a May 24 statement.
In her interview with CNN, she said Dollar Thrifty wasn't part of the conversation, though Dollar Thrifty did send Boxer a letter June 5, according to documents obtained by Auto Rental News.
On June 5, Enterprise also issued its response and latest letter to Boxer that stated the company does not rent any vehicles subject to a recall notice until the recall has been remedied. In February, prior to Boxer's pledge request, Enterprise made a statement announcing its formal support of federal recall legislation. (You can read the full announcement here.)
As well, in the June 5 letter the company said that it does not sell at retail any vehicle subject to a recall until it has been remedied, and — pursuant to its initial May 22 letter — the company has implemented a policy to remedy any safety recall prior to selling a vehicle at wholesale (provided the vehicle’s damage doesn’t prevent the company from doing so, in which if that is the case, the company will disclose the recall during the purchase process).
Dollar Thrifty's letter stated, "We are supportive of legislation that treats all rental car companies equally and of extending these protections to other for-hire vehicle transportation services." The letter also said that Dollar Thrifty repairs all safety recalls prior to sale of vehicles from its fleet.
On the same day of Boxer’s June 12 press conferences, Avis Budget Group issued a letter to Boxer from Ron Nelson, the company’s chairman and CEO.
“I stated clearly and unequivocally, consistent with your request as well as with our longstanding practices, that we do not and will not rent a vehicle which is subject to an open Motor Vehicle Safety Act recall,” the letter said. “In addition, our longstanding general practice is to not dispose of vehicles in retail or wholesale markets without having the recalled item repaired or taking the steps necessary aimed at keeping the car out of the stream of commerce as a drivable car until the repair is completed by others.”
Nelson said that the company will maintain and continue to improve all policies and practices, and the company will “continue to be an advocate for a federal solution, and we will continue to proffer constrictive input to ensure that the objectives embodied within your pledge request are established clearly and can be complied with by all.” The letter also reiterated Avis Budget’s request that other for-hire transportation companies, such as taxi and livery services, should be included in this legislation.