Last updated: 04:14 PM ET, Thu June 02 2016

New Recalled Rental Car Law Goes Into Effect

Car Rental & Rail | Donald Wood | June 02, 2016

New Recalled Rental Car Law Goes Into Effect

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

On Wednesday, a federal law went into effect that prevents car rental companies from renting vehicles that have been recalled by the manufacturer until they are properly repaired.

According to, the new law comes after years of hard work from Cally Houck and her family following the deaths of her two daughters in a rental car crash; a vehicle that was under recall, but never fixed.

Raechel and Jacqueline Houck were 24 and 20 years old, respectively, when they were involved in the accident that killed them in 2004. The two women were driving a Chrysler PT Cruiser rented from Enterprise when it began to leak steering fluid and caught fire. The car then crashed into a tractor trailer.

It was later discovered that the vehicle had been recalled due to the potential fire hazard, but was rented to the sisters anyway. After more than a decade of fighting for justice, though, their mother Cally feels vindicated that a similar situation will not happen again thanks to the new federal law.

“I'm proud of our efforts, I'm so grateful for the help of consumer advocates who rallied behind this,” Houck told ABC News. “We all worked together and we didn't give up. We remained firm and committed.”

The new law passed as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 last year and was signed by President Barack Obama into law in December. The regulation does make car rental companies with 35 or fewer cars exempt, a compromise from the original proposal of any company with 10 cars or more.

“I feel we've won a huge battle, but we haven't quite won the war,” Houck told ABC News. “And the war is for corporations to take responsibility in any kind of situation where you have a recalled product and that recalled product causes injury.”


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