Hertz Settles Car Theft Lawsuits

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People who were arrested and more are getting a payout, finally…

As we covered before, a few dozen Hertz customers filed suit earlier this year after the rental company filed police reports stating those customers stole vehicles they rented. That has resulted in a torrent of negative publicity for the company, which is fighting against ride-sharing and car-sharing services after going through bankruptcy recently. It seems the pressure might have helped influence the decision to settle out of court rather than let the sordid details of innocent people being arrested for a crime they didn’t commit, allegedly.

Read more about the Hertz situation here.

Per a report from NBC News, Hertz settled the 364 claims that it erroneously filed police reports against customers. The cost of the settlement is $168 million. We’re not sure exactly how many people will have to divide that cash, and of course attorneys as well as Uncle Sam will take their cut, but we hope it’s enough to help them repair the damage done.

In some of the cases, people claimed they called Hertz to extend their rental and thought everything was fine. However, an error in processing their card payment for the extra days and a breakdown in communication resulted in Hertz filing a stolen vehicle report. Some customers didn’t find out they had a bench warrant until they were pulled over police for something unrelated months later.

NBC News says one man claimed he never even rented a vehicle from Hertz, yet he was accused of stealing one of the service’s cars. It’s possible he used one of the services owned by Hertz, like Thrifty Car Rental or Dollar Rent A Car.

Hertz is in the middle of trying to position itself as an eco-conscious car rental service, so the last thing it needs is negative news about customers being arrested for supposedly stealing a vehicle they rented. CEO Stephen Scherr said he’s going “to lead a company that puts the customer first.” That sounds good, so hopefully this is the last time customers are arrested for stealing a car they returned.

Source: NBC News

Images via Hertz

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