Boxer Urges Enterprise to Make Permanent Commitment to Rental Car Safety - 5/24/12

Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
May 24, 2012  
Contact:
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

Boxer Urges Enterprise to Make Permanent Commitment to Rental Car Safety  

Company Will Temporarily Stop Renting Recalled Cars, But Must Go Further to Permanently Protect Consumers From Unsafe Vehicles

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today sent a letter to Enterprise Rent-a-Car CEO Andrew Taylor urging his company to commit to permanently stop renting or selling vehicles under safety recall to consumers. While Enterprise agreed in a letter to Senator Boxer this week to temporarily stop renting vehicles under safety recall, they have fallen short of satisfying the Senator’s safety pledge by maintaining the right to sell recalled vehicles on the wholesale market and failing to permanently end the practice of renting or selling cars and trucks under safety recall.  

Senator Boxer said, “To fulfill the pledge, you would need to agree to immediately stop selling recalled vehicles on the wholesale market, and agree to permanently – not temporarily – stop renting or selling all vehicles under safety recall.”  

On May 7, Senator Boxer sent letters asking all of the major rental car companies to agree to take this simple voluntary pledge within 30 days: “Effective immediately, our company is making a permanent commitment to not rent out or sell any vehicles under safety recall until the defect has been remedied.” Among the major companies, only Hertz – which had already stopped the practice – agreed to meet the promise in the pledge.  

Avis has responded as well, and Senator Boxer is now asking the company to clarify whether it will take the steps necessary to meet the safety pledge. Dollar/Thrifty has not yet responded. Enterprise, Hertz, Avis and Dollar/Thrifty together control 92 percent of the rental car market.

Boxer, along with her colleague Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), has introduced S. 1445, the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act, legislation that would bar rental car companies from renting vehicles under safety recall that have not been fixed. The bill is named after Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, two sisters from Santa Cruz, ages 24 and 20, who were killed when a recalled car they had rented from Enterprise caught fire and crashed into a truck.  

You can read Senator Boxer’s letter to Enterprise below. Copies of the letters from Enterprise CEO Andrew Taylor and General Counsel Thomas Laffey are available upon request. 

May 24, 2012 

Andrew Taylor, Chairman and CEO
Enterprise Holdings
600 Corporate Park Drive
Saint Louis, Missouri 63105  

Dear Mr. Taylor:  

Thank you for the letters from you and your counsel dated May 22, 2012, in which you say that “we are happy to comply with the pledge set forth in your letter.” Actually, your policies do not comply with the pledge, and I would like to remind you of what this pledge said: 

“Effective immediately, our company is making a permanent commitment to not rent out or sell any vehicles under safety recall until the defect has been remedied.” 

While I am glad that you have agreed to temporarily stop renting out vehicles under recall until they have been repaired, unfortunately your current commitment still falls short of fulfilling the pledge. To fulfill the pledge, you would need to agree to immediately stop selling recalled vehicles on the wholesale market, and agree to permanently – not temporarily – stop renting or selling all vehicles under safety recall until they have been fixed as instructed by the manufacturers’ recall notice. 

To help protect consumers from unsafe vehicles, I urge you to permanently adopt the simple, voluntary policy expressed in the pledge. I look forward to your reconsideration of your policy as soon as possible.  

Sincerely,  

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

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Boxer Letter to Hertz

Boxer Letter to Avis

Boxer Letter to Enterprise

Enterprise CEO Letter to Boxer - 5/22/12

Enterprise General Counsel Letter to Boxer - 5/22/12