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When renting a car, you might think it’s safe to assume that the rental car company wouldn’t provide you with a vehicle that is known to be defective without having taken the necessary steps to remedy the defect. Unfortunately, that assumption might be incorrect as legislation preventing rental car companies from leasing an unrepaired vehicle subject to a recall is still in the works.

This issue has been recently championed by attorney Cally Houck whose two daughters were killed in an accident caused by a hose fire in a defective Chrysler PT Cruiser rental car that had not been repaired despite being subject to a recall, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Yesterday, Houck appeared with Senators Charles Schumer (NY) and Barbara Boxer (CA) in Washington, DC, as they broke the news that the nation’s largest rental car companies have agreed to endorse and support legislation that would make it illegal for any company to rent recalled vehicles.

The companies involved are Avis, Dollar Thrifty, Hertz, National and Enterprise, which is the top-rated automobile rental company according to the 2011 Rental Car Satisfaction Study conducted by JD Power and Associates. The Senators believe that the involvement and support of these companies will help this bill pass with certainty when it is voted on during Congress’ lame duck session. Also contributing to the push for this law’s passage is the California advocacy group, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS).

According to CARS, “[t]his historic agreement will be a major improvement in auto safety, particularly since rental car companies are the largest purchases of new vehicles in the nation.” Additionally, Hertz’s senior vice president of corporate affairs, Richard Broome, stated: “We are pleased the rest of the rental car industry is now fully supportive.”