Rental Car Company To Pay $168 Million To Customers Accused Of Stealing Cars After “Glitch”
Hertz car rental company is paying $168 million in settlement money after customers were falsely accused of stealing cars.
The company blamed a “glitch” in the theft reporting system as to why it happened.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what has happened to hundreds of Hertz customers since 2015. According to lawsuits filed across the nation, customers were held at gunpoint, arrested, and even held in jail for days as a result of Hertz reporting rental models as stolen. Now, Hertz says it will compensate these customers to the tune of $168 million total, resolving claims for more than 95% of the wrongfully accused.
The company claims this issue was a result of a faulty theft reporting system, a system the company alleges was fixed following its 2020 bankruptcy. However, a lawsuit filed in Delaware earlier this year shows that the practice was still in effect following the company’s Chapter 11 proceedings. Hertz previously denied all claims of the false theft reports until this April, when the newly minted CEO, Stephen Scherr, admitted that some customers had been affected by the “glitch”.
The company says that it runs over 25 million rental transactions per year and that at least 3365 theft reports are made annually, accounting for 0.014 percent of its rentals. Additionally, a spokesperson for the company said that most of these cases involve renters who were many weeks or even months overdue, in a statement to CBS News.
364 people have been wrongfully arrested since 2020.
Some cases saw customers kept in jail for days – another case had a mother arrested which left her kid home alone.
Since 2020, 364 people were wrongfully arrested after police were told their rented Hertz vehicles were stolen when, in fact, they weren’t. According to the initial lawsuit earlier in the year, the cars were falsely reported as stolen due to Hertz incorrectly reporting thefts, failing to report rental extensions, failing to track vehicle inventory, incorrectly reporting customers’ payments, and also not correcting falsely stolen reports.
In some cases, customers weren’t just stopped by police where they could explain themselves and then sent on their way. Some customers were actually arrested and kept in jail for up to 14 days, which was devastating. One woman, Mary Lindsey Flannery, was reportedly pulled over and arrested, which left her kid at home alone, as her husband was overseas in the military.
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