Commentary: Enterprise shows some character after Impalas debacle

Enterprise Rent-A-Car deservedly gets a black eye for its handling of 2006-2008 Chevrolet Impalas. It scrimped by "deleting" a standard safety feature and then re-sold those cars without making it clear they lacked the feature.

The missing safety item, side-curtain airbags, significantly reduces highway accident deaths. While the side airbags are not federally required, Chevrolet consumers know they are part of the "standard" Impala features.

If there is a bright side to this issue exposed by The Star on Sunday, it was St. Louis-based Enterprise's reaction to its "glitch in the system." Enterprise acknowledged that selling the cars without disclosing the missing safety feature was a mistake. The company said it would send letters to 745 of its car buyers without side airbags and offer to buy them back for $750 above Kelley Blue Book value, regardless of condition.

The willingness to admit mistakes is not always typical. Character is often defined by how people or companies react to mistakes. Enterprise reacted well. This can be a lesson to other companies. And certainly all others who resell these Impalas should disclose the missing airbags.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Kansas City Star.