In October 2004 , two young sisters from Northern California were killed instantly when the Chrysler PT Cruiser they had rented burst into flames and crashed into an oncoming tractor trailer. One month prior to this devastating accident, Chrysler issued a safety recall for over 435,000 PT Cruisers due to reports of engine fires. Despite the serious safety concerns associated with the recall, they were able to rent the car.
A new bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would prohibit rental car companies from making vehicles available to drivers that have been recalled because of safety risks. The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2012 – named in honor of the two young girls who died in a recalled car they rented from Enterprise – would prevent rental car companies from renting or selling vehicles until they have been properly repaired.
In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study of recall repairs among rental car companies. The NHTSA looked at 10 General Motors and Chrysler recalls launched between June 2006 and July 2010. It found that after 90 days, Enterprise had fixed an average of 65 percent of recalled cars, Avis had fixed 53 percent, and Hertz had only fixed 34 percent of recalled cars in its fleet.