Congresswoman Lois Capps recently spoke on the House floor voicing her support for the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act (H.R. 2198/S.1173), which passed in the Senate on July 30 as part of a multi-year transportation bill (H.R. 22), and calling for the bill to be brought before the House of Representatives.
Similar to car dealership regulations, the Safe Rental Car Act would force rental car companies to take vehicles out of commission immediately after receiving a safety recall notice. The bill is named for Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, who died in a car accident caused by a recalled Chrysler PT Cruiser they rented from Enterprise Rent-A-Car in 2004. A month prior to the accident, Enterprise was notified that the PT Cruiser had a defective power steering hose that was likely to catch fire. Additionally, Chrysler had offered to repair the hose for free. The fourth time Enterprise knowingly rented the defective PT Cruiser, the Houck sisters were killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer after their car caught on fire. Under the proposed legislation, when a recalled vehicle has already been rented, rental car companies would be obligated to notify the renters as soon as possible.
Regarding her intention to get the Safe Rental Car Act signed into law, Capps said in a press release, “Enacting common sense, lifesaving legislation will ensure that what happened to Raechel and Jacqueline Houck will never happen again. I will continue working to bring this to the House floor for a vote and to get it signed into law as soon as possible.”