July 15, 2024

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Hertz will pay $168 million to customers accused of car theft

Car rental company Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. on Monday that it would pay about $168 million to settle disputes with hundreds of customers who claim they were falsely accused of vehicle theft.

which company She filed for bankruptcy in 2020sometimes recorded some vehicles being stolen, even after customers extended lease periods and paid them up, sometimes resulting in frenzied altercations with authorities, and even imprisonment, according to lawsuits filed on behalf of customers across the country.

Although Hertz initially disputed the claims, the company, which in February appointed a new CEO, has admitted since then some irregularities. in statement on MondayHertz said the damages will resolve 364 outstanding vehicle theft claims, bringing the vast majority of those claims to an end.

“It is my intention to lead a company that puts the customer first,” Hertz CEO Stephen Scheer said in a statement. “In resolving these claims, we stick to that goal,” he said, adding that while the company “will not always be perfect,” it will continue to work to provide class-leading service to the millions of customers it serves each year.

allegations, Reported last year by CBS News, and detailed in court documents, include those from clients who said they were arrested at gunpoint; Thrown in jail or being sued after the company claimed it stole one of its cars. In February, after a US bankruptcy court judge in Delaware ruled that Hertz must make public the number of people it has filed complaints against, the company revealed that it Submit thousands of police reports every year.

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Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. also operates Dollar Rent A Car, Inc. and Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, LLC. These companies are also listed as defendants in court documents.

According to a lawsuit filed in August in Delaware Supreme Court, false reports of theft often fall into two categories: those in which Hertz claimed the car was past due, and those in which the company mishandled the vehicle. According to the lawsuit, the latter type of case occurred when the company sometimes classified cars as stolen that were actually rented to customers, or were sitting on their lots.

“In all cases, Hertz’s goal is to protect its profits and reduce its costs, even if it knows its customers will lose their liberty and liberty as a result,” the lawsuit said, adding that unsuspecting drivers were “prosecuted as if Grand Theft Auto was truly committed.”

According to another lawsuit filed in the same court in 2020, a woman was arrested in April 2019 in Broward County, Florida, after extending and paying for her Hertz rental car. She spent 37 days in jail, was separated from her fiancé and two children, missed her nursing school graduation and discovered she was pregnant, according to the suit.

In another case, a man who turned himself in to authorities in Gwinnett County, Georgia, in 2018, after learning he had a warrant for his arrest for the Hertz car theft, actually paid for the car and returned it, according to court records. The documents indicate that after he missed the date of the hearing, he was arrested again, and imprisoned for six and a half months.

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Lawyers representing the plaintiffs could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

Hertz said Monday that it believes it will recover a “significant portion” of the settlement amount from its insurance affiliates and that $168 million will be paid by the end of this year.

Susan C Beachy Contribute to the research.