Rental Car Safety: New Legislation Aims to Prevent Injury and Death

By Michael Pines, Accident & Injury Prevention Expert

Rental Car Injury Lawyers

Rental Car Injury Lawyers discuss the latest legislation to protect consumers against rental car recalls.

The safety of America’s rental car fleet may improve significantly thanks to new legislation that would prevent the renting or sale of any vehicle under a safety recall.

The Senate Committee on Commerce in July passed the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013 in honor of the two sisters who were killed in a car accident after renting a recalled PT Cruiser from Enterprise in 2004.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), lead sponsor of the bill, applauded the Senate’s decision to pass the bill.

“Today the Commerce Committee paid tribute to two of my California constituents who lost their lives in a senseless tragedy by passing the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act,” Senator Boxer said. “This bill will protect our families by keeping vehicles under safety recall off our roads, and I will be working hard to ensure its passage by the full Senate.”

The Senator’s office also added that even though Enterprise had received a recall notice for the PT Cruiser and its defective power steering hose prone to catch fire, it did not pull the vehicles from its rental fleet. The defect, in turn, caused the Houcks’ rental car to set itself ablaze before tragically crashing head-on into a semi-truck.

“If this bill had been in effect when my daughters rented that recalled car, they would still be alive today,” said the girls’ mother. “No other parents should have to suffer such a horrific loss because a rental car company hasn’t bothered to get an unsafe recalled car repaired.”


Until the bill becomes law, we can make strides in rental car safety to ensure no further innocent lives are taken. It may prove to be difficult to check for recalls when you rent a vehicle, but a little proactive research along with convention wisdom can help you steer clear of dangers from behind the wheel.

Download the “SaferCar” app. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the SaferCar recall app to ensure that all drivers stay protected against potentially deadly car malfunctions due to recalls. Do a quick search on your rental vehicle to ensure that it is in the clear.

Look for essential vehicle safety features. Make sure your car is as safe as possible when it comes to accident avoidance by ensuring it is equipped with anti-lock brakes, side airbags and stability control (especially if you’re traveling in inclement weather).

Familiarize yourself with the vehicle prior to driving. Know the location of its safety features prior to driving: shifter, driving lights, emergency lights, cruise control and windshield wipers. If you feel that visibility is hindered from behind the wheel, don’t risk it. Choose another vehicle. Saving $5 a day isn’t worth it when it comes to your safety and the safety of those around you.

Choose the right size vehicle. Don’t try to cram an economy car with a family of four with luggage to boot. Again, a few saved dollars isn’t worth the comfort and safety of your family. Plus, when a small car is packed solid, you compromise visibility and increase the risk of injury in the event of a car accident.

About Michael Pines

Michael Pines is a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC in San Diego, California. He is an accident and injury prevention expert, on a campaign to end senseless injury one article at a time. Catch Mike on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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Posted by Social Media Staff on Aug 3 2013. Filed under Columns, Michael Pines, Sponsored Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

10 Comments for “Rental Car Safety: New Legislation Aims to Prevent Injury and Death”

  1. The SaferCar app comes in handy. Also, I agree that it is important to familiarize yourself with the vehicle before driving it and choose the size of the vehicle that's right for your preferences and needs. Great work, Michael.

  2. Thе safety οf America’s rental car fleet mау improve significantly thanks tο nеw legislation thаt wουƖԁ prevent thе renting οr sale οf аnу vehicle under a safety recall.

  3. It's sad the that it often takes a tragedy before new safety legislation's are passed. Some great prevention tips, I also think the rental car companies themselves need to be accountable for the safety of the vehicles they are renting. This should always be their #1 priority over lining their pockets.

  4. Alongside the basic rental of a vehicle, car rental agencies typically also offer extra products such as insurance, global positioning system navigation systems, entertainment systems, and even such things as mobile phones. Thank you.

  5. Frankly, it shouldn't take legislation for car rental companies to recognize this is completely unacceptable. For some though, it will take legislation like this to motivate them. After a car accident, my law firm checks to see if any vehicle recalls have been issued to determine if that contributed in causing the crash. Hopefully, with this new legislation the end result here will be less needless tragedy on the roadways.

  6. Great information. I am interested in the SaferCar app. Where can I download it?

  7. I like Ryan Bradley's comment, I'm attorney based out of Tampa, FL and I also check to see if any vehicles recalls have been issued to determine if that contributed in causing the crash.

  8. Very helpful tips. Though it's saddening that accidents like those that took the lives of the girls need to happen before something is done, it's still a relief that some people are making actions to correct the system. Thanks for sharing.

  9. TenaMarshal

    your post is quit interesting and i love your post. i got lots of thing from your experience and i will take benefit from your experience.

  10. johndeon

    The Accident & Injury Prevention Expert The security of America's rental auto armada may enhance fundamentally because of new enactment that would keep the leasing or offer of any vehicle under a wellbeing review. I think that's a good idea for introducing this cat. Last year the Toronto Disability Lawyers facing same case.

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