Laura Bryant of Enterprise said the Houck accident was a "terrible tragedy," that customer safety is Enterprise's "top priority," and that the company "share[s] the Houcks' goal of preventing anything like this from happening again." Bryant said that Enterprise does not rent out "vehicles that are subject to a NHTSA-approved recall," but that the company also "may elect to use [an] interim solution" recommended by manufacturers "to avoid stranding many travelers for no reason."
"[A] number of respected individuals, including elected officials and regulators, [believe] additional oversight of the recall process may be needed," said Bryant. "While we believe this well-meaning legislation is unnecessary and based on inaccurate, obsolete data, our company continues to work with these individuals and organizations -- including NHTSA and the auto manufacturers -- to find common ground and produce a solution that addresses everyone's concerns."
Meanwhile, Hertz reached an agreement with a safety advocacy group, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, that mirrors the provisions of the Schumer-Boxer amendment. In a statement, an Avis spokesman said his company was also weighing the Hertz deal.
"It has always been Avis Budget Group's view that recall issues should be resolved on a federal level, rather than a 50-state patchwork solution," said John Barrows, vice president for communications. "While the Hertz proposal has certain coverage and logistical problems, we welcome an opportunity to discuss these challenges with input from consumers, manufacturers, and fleet owners and operators. To that end, we are currently reviewing and discussing the Hertz proposal and other ideas with Hertz among other parties."
Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, said she believed that Hertz had made the deal because it is a public company, accountable to stockholders, while Enterprise is privately held. "Enterprise is known for having a 'scorched earth' corporate ethic," claimed Shahan, who echoed Houck's allegation that Enterprise has been working to kill the Schumer/Boxer amendment. "They hate government regulation."