Rent-a-Car Companies Putting Recalled Autos on the Road

"They spent five years pounding these parents," said the Houck's lawyer, Larry Grassini. "'Your daughter was negligent in the manner in which she drove the car, and she killed herself and her younger sister.' And they continued to maintain that position until two weeks before the trial, at which time they finally admitted that they were the only cause of the deaths of Raechel and Jacquie," said Grassini.

The Houcks had earlier turned down a $3 million settlement offer that would have prevented them from talking about their case against Enterprise.

After Enterprise's admission of negligence, an Alameda County jury awarded the family $15 million earlier this year.

Ditlow has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Enterprise's policy, which he says violates a 1991 ruling by the FTC involving a similar issue with Budget Rent-a-car.

"What we need to do is have the FTC step in and go against every single rental car company that has a policy of driving and renting unsafe vehicles subject to recalls," said Ditlow.

Enterprise says because there are so many auto safety recalls, it has to evaluate each one on a case by case basis.

The company says its executives are paying much greater attention to the recalls in the wake of the Houck case.

The company says it recently grounded and repaired 2010 Grand Cherokees because of passenger side airbag concerns. And this year, Enterprise says, it grounded more than 35,000 Toyotas and Pontiac Vibes because of potentially sticky accelerator pedals.

"Given all we have learned, today we would ground the recalled PT Cruiser until repaired," said Enterprise executive vice president Greg Stubblefield in a statement.

"We share the Houcks' goal of preventing anything like this happening again," said Stubblefield. "We are truly sorry for their terrible loss."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STATEMENT FROM ENTERPRISE.

"They killed our daughters on October 7, 2004," said the Houcks in a statement. "This is the first time we heard them say this. All we ask now is that Enterprise stop renting recalled vehicles so this nightmare is not suffered by any other parents."

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