Within 24 hours, more than 100,000 concerned consumers have joined a grieving mother’s explosive campaign on Change.org calling on Enterprise Rent-A-Car to stop opposing new regulations that would prohibit the company from renting cars that have been recalled due to safety risks.
The campaign was launched this week by Cally Houck, a mom whose two daughters were killed in an accident while driving an Enterprise rental car that had been recalled. Raechel, 24, and Jacqueline, 20, died in 2004 when the power-steering fluid leaked in their recalled PT Cruiser and caught fire, causing them to lose control of the car, which then crashed into a semi tractor-trailer.
Ms. Houck’s campaign on Change.org has grown rapidly in the past day, attracting support from some of Enterprise’s most loyal customers:
“I have rented from Enterprise frequently in the past as a business customer,” wrote Lisa Kulisek of Chicago, Illinois, on the Change.org petition. “More recently I have rented a car to put my two small children and husband in.
I can't believe that a rental company would ever rent a recalled vehicle, but I am going to be much more cautious in the future. If Enterprise won't stop this practice, I will take my business and my family elsewhere.”
“I've rented from them twice this week alone, and had I known this I wouldn't have at all,” wrote Michelle M of Toledo, Ohio. “They are also who my car insurance company uses to get rentals when my car had been in the shop after an accident. They need to accept this law and make sure the cars they are renting are safe. Now after reading this, I am refusing to put my toddler in the rental and will be even happier to get my car back.”
“I rent from Enterprise for personal and business travel,” wrote William Vine of Nashville, Tennessee. “I can't believe you'd be so cynical as to fight such a common sense law. Please, reverse your position and work on implementing an Enterprise policy ensuring even quicker compliance than any other rental company. Don't try to limit costs on this issue; work to gain a competitive advantage by doing the right thing.”
“I am signing because I have children and friends who have rented from Enterprise,” wrote Velva McColloch of Washington, Illinois. “I believe they should repair any recall vehicles. No mother should lose a child or children because of a rental company’s neglect or lack of concern for customers.”
Ms. Houck launched her campaign on Change.org when she learned that Enterprise is allegedly lobbying against an amendment that Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Barbara Boxer plan to include in an upcoming surface transportation bill. The amendment would prohibit car rental companies from renting recalled cars until they are fixed, a regulation that already applies to manufacturers and new car dealers. A spokesperson for Enterprise was quoted this week saying the proposed regulation was “unnecessary.”
“In one day, well over 100,000 people have joined Cally’s petition on Change.org,” said Change.org spokesperson Charlotte Hill. “Cally has taken an incredibly traumatic event, the death of her two daughters, and channeled her inner strength to ensure this never happens again to another Enterprise customer. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them and clearly Cally’s campaign has resonated broadly with consumers across the country.”
Enterprise Holdings is the nation’s largest rental car company and owns the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and National Car Rental brands.
Additional Comments from Petition Signers
“The only rental car company in town? Enterprise. The rental car company we have used for pleasure and business? Enterprise. This will end if Enterprise keeps fighting this,” wrote Cyndi Boertje of Pella, IA. “We don't deserve to die for your profits, Enterprise.”
“Having just very recently given Enterprise our business, I am horrified to think what could have happened to my family if a safety recall had been ignored,” wrote Susan Hahs of Jaffrey, New Hampshire.
“As a longtime customer of Enterprise, I will certainly be using alternate rental agencies if you don't see reason on this important public health and safety issue,” wrote Shani Ferguson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“I have been using Enterprise for years,” wrote Elizabeth Guthrie of Irvine, California. “This makes me think twice about renting from them again. I won't rent from Enterprise again until I know they do their best to make their cars safe.”
“Shame on you, Enterprise. I, too, have rented a PT Cruiser from you,” wrote William Whitaker of LaGrande, Oregon. “I am shocked that you are not committed to safety for the vehicles you rent. For shame!”
Live signature totals from Cally Houck’s campaign:
USA Today coverage of the issue:
Journalists interested in contacting Enterprise Holdings’ public relations staff should try:
Laura Bryant, Spokesperson, Enterprise Holdings
Meghan Maguire, Spokesperson, Enterprise Holdings
Lisa Martini, Spokesperson, Enterprise Holdings
Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by 1 million new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country. For more information on Change.org, please visit http://www.change.org/about.