Hertz accused customers of stealing cars and now must pay them US $ 168 million

Hertz accused customers of stealing cars
Image courtesy of Motorbiscuit – Hertz accused customers of stealing cars

It is unknown why it continued for years, but Hertz Rentals accused customers of stealing their cars. These accusations turned out to be false, however, some arrests were made at gunpoint. Others even spent time in jail and ended up being charged with felonies. In the wake of this, a settlement this week cost the car rental company $168 million for its false accusations. The settlement will go to 364 customers accused of stealing rental cars.

Why did Hertz accuse customers of stealing cars?

“As I have said since joining Hertz earlier this year, my intent is to lead a company that puts the customer first,” Stephen Scherr, the company’s CEO, said in a statement. “By resolving these claims, we are holding on to that goal,” said Scherr, who became CEO in April of this year.

Hertz He says that about 3,500 cars are stolen every year from 25 million rentals. But it’s clear that sloppy rental records and changing policies regarding theft resulted in most of these theft accusations turning out to be false. Meanwhile, most of the clients incurred legal fees, some even spent months in jail and others lost job opportunities with possible charges due to felonies on them.

Image courtesy of Motorbiscuit – Hertz accused customers of stealing cars

When Hertz entered bankruptcy proceedings in 2020, I tried to prevent the theft issues from becoming public. But the lawsuits came to light when the court reviewed Hertz’s possible debt. After being revealed, Hertz He claimed he spent “exhaustive attempts to reach every client” accused. That turned out not to be the case.

According to NPR, most of these theft cases were due to customers extending rental periods. But the cases were not properly filed in Hertz’s computer system and some of the cases were never closed. So the cars remained in the police systems as stolen.

In others, customers were linked to legitimately stolen rental cars. “As a result of this routine and systemic mass reporting, without verification or investigation, many innocent customers have been wrongfully detained, arrested, jailed, prosecuted, and had their lives destroyed,” according to a lawsuit.

What happened when some of Hertz’s customers were arrested?

To a woman driving a Hertz rental car in Chicago, USA, a tire was punctured. The car was towed and replaced with a new one. Back home a few months later, she was stopped by the police during a routine traffic stop. Executing her driver’s license, she turned up a warrant for her arrest for which she ended up being arrested and spent over a month in jail before resolving the mix-up.

Hertz accused customers of stealing cars
Image courtesy of Motorbiscuit – Hertz accused customers of stealing cars

Another case was that of a client whose rent was reported stolen, despite having been returned on time and paid in full. A hearing was scheduled, however, the client was never informed so he missed the date. He was subsequently arrested and “spent months in jail” while prosecutors sorted out the mix-up.

These are some of the many problems cited in lawsuits that former Hertz customers endured after being charged with auto theft. According to Hertz they will release the money on January 1st.


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Font: motor biscuit

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