Cally Houck’s daughters Raechel and Jacqueline died in a crash while driving a rental car in California 10 years ago.
The Chrysler PT Cruiser had a power steering defect. Houck now fights for a law to prevent rental car companies from renting or selling recalled cars.
“It's common sense,” said Houck. “Don't put people in cars with dangerous defects.”
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Last week, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee finalized a bill that would allow rental car companies to offer cars with unresolved flaws as long as they disclose the defects in writing.
“I know the bill would not have saved my daughters,” said Houck.
Putting millions in danger during summer trips
Consumer advocates say high-profile recalls have put millions of dangerous cars on the street.
They doubt drivers in a rush would turn down defective cars at the car rental lot.
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“They're either going to have to take it or sign away a document that says there is a defect and you know about it and you are taking the car anyway,” said Jackie Gillan
, with Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
Supporters of the bill call it pro-consumer. A commerce spokesman told the Cox Washington Bureau this would require rental companies to tell customers whether there is a recall and if it's been fixed.
Large rental companies voluntarily take recalled cars off the road. Consumer groups fear the bill would take away any incentive to keep bad cars off the road.
Several states have prohibited rental car companies from renting recalled vehicles to consumers, but the committee says those protections would stay in place.
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