Schumer Demands Fix to 'Dangerous' Rental Car Loophole

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A representative for Enterprise said the proposed bill is based on "historical" data and that under the company's current policy, "virtually all" cars under recall are grounded until they are fixed.

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"The safety of our customers is our top priority and it is the most fundamental aspect of our commitment to do business responsibly," Enterprise spokesperson Laura Bryant told ABC News. "[The NHTSA survey] is not indicative of where the industry is today."

Bryant said the company receives thousands of recalls issued every year with no differentiation for the severity of the issue. The company bases the rare exceptions in which cars under recall on not grounded on information provided by the car manufacturer. With respect to the Houck's case, Bryant said renting out that car today would be against the current policy.

The proposed bill would force the rental car companies to ground all cars under recall, without exception.

"Any compromise with the industry that doesn't include total prohibition until those cars are repaired is meaningless," Cally Houck said.

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"They cannot pick and choose," Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, told ABC News last week. "They're gambling with your life."

Until legislation is enacted, however, Ditlow said the best recourse for consumers is to simply ask rental car agents if their vehicle is subject to an outstanding safety recall.

"If they don't tell you, they're deceiving you and if they won't tell you, just go to another company, go to another counter," said Ditlow. "They're all right there in the airport, this is a free market, pick somebody who's more responsible."

A representative from Avis/Budget did not respond to requests for comment on this report.

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