WASHINGTON, DC – In a press conference today, Cally Houck joined Senators Barbara Boxer and Charles Schumer and safety advocates, to announce an exciting development in her battle to get dangerous rental cars off the road. Earlier this year, Cally Houck started a popular petition on Change.org calling on Enterprise Rent-A-Car to drop opposition to proposed legislation that would prohibit rental car companies from renting cars that have been recalled due to safety risks. She has worked tirelessly with safety advocates and members of Congress to secure industry support for the legislation.
Mother whose two daughters died in accident in recalled Enterprise rental car wins popular campaign on Change.org asking Enterprise to support safety regulations to keep recalled cars off the road.
Senators Boxer, Schumer join mom Cally Houck and safety advocates today to announce the legislation, named for Cally’s daughters.
Enterprise now supports the legislation, named after Cally’s daughters Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, who died in 2004 while driving a recalled rental Enterprise car. The legislation would ensure the safety of America’s rental car fleet by preventing rental car companies from renting or selling recalled cars or trucks. The legislation is supported by Senators Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Claire McCaskill and Representatives Roy Blunt and Lois Capps.
“It’s so inspiring to see Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Avis and Dollar Thrifty join Hertz and members of Congress in supporting legislation that will prevent future tragedies on the roads and highways,” said Cally Houck. “It took thousands of signatures on my Change.org petition and months of work by consumer advocates to get this far. I’m proud, and looking forward to Enterprise and the rest of the rental car industry joining us to advocate for the passage of this bill.”
“I know my campaign has educated and alerted people on the issue of rental car safety and that alone gives me hope that real change is on the way,” added Cally.
Cally was supported throughout her fight by car safety advocacy group Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS).
Raechel, 24, and Jacqueline, 20, died in 2004 when the power-steering fluid leaked in their recalled PT Cruiser and caught fire, causing them to lose control of the car, which crashed into a semi tractor-trailer. A month before the fatal crash, Enterprise received the safety recall notice from Chrysler but did not fix the car, instead continuing to rent the defective PT Cruiser to three other customers before renting it to Ms. Houck’s daughters. Eventually, after a five-year legal battle, Enterprise admitted it was 100% liable for the young women’s deaths.
When Ms. Houck first launched her petition in February 2012 she said, “I want to keep this from happening to another family and to be sure that my daughters’ memory is preserved. My daughters were incredible human beings. Until there is real accountability and Enterprise has a responsibility to its customers, we are still going to have problems like this. I created this petition because I have to go forward on this. My daughters’ memory demands it.”
“Cally took an incredibly traumatic event, the death of her two daughters, and swore to do anything to keep this tragedy from repeating itself,” said Change.org Senior Campaigner Tim Newman. “Thousands of people, from Cally’s close friends to frequent Enterprise customers to concerned parents, left emotional comments of support on her petition and today Enterprise listened.”
Enterprise Holdings is the nation’s largest rental car company and owns the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and National Car Rental brands.
Live signature totals from Cally Houck’s campaign: