• In recent years, some people who rented cars from Hertz have found themselves arrested when the company tells police they stole the cars despite claiming to be legitimate renters and returned the vehicles on time. .
  • It now appears that those instances were primarily errors created by Hertz’s computer system when it was unable to physically locate a car or possibly even someone’s payment was not made.
  • Thanks in part to a CBS News investigation, a Delaware bankruptcy court judge ruled this week that Hertz will have to release thousands of pages of documents in the case.

    File this under “We’ll learn more soon.” A Delaware bankruptcy court judge ruled this week that Hertz will have to publicly back up claims that thousands of people rented its cars and then stole them.

    The judge ruled in a case brought by 230 customers who said they were wrongfully arrested after Hertz told police they stole the vehicles, even though they claim they correctly returned them. Lawyers handling the case say the 230 people involved in the case represent a larger group of about 8,000 people accused by Hertz of stealing its cars. Hertz itself sets the number of flights each year somewhere in the middle.

    “Of the more than 25 million rental transactions by Hertz in the United States per year, 0.014% fall into the rare situation where vehicles are reported to authorities after exhaustive attempts to reach the customer,” Hertz said in a statement. supplied to CBS Newswho did the math to translate that into an average of 3,500 customers driving Hertz vehicles each year.

    “The vast majority of these cases involve renters who were weeks or even months late returning their vehicles and who stopped communicating with us well past their scheduled due date,” the company said. company in a press release. Washington Post.

    Everyone seems to agree that there aren’t really thousands of people stealing Hertz rental cars every year. The problems are more bureaucratic, such as when Hertz doesn’t know where a particular car is physically located and therefore thinks it’s missing. These types of issues can arise if renters change cars during a rental or extend their rental period. the To post said even problems with credit or debit cards can generate a theft report in Hertz’s system, which is then sent to local law enforcement.

    “We are asking the police to act as a strong arm for private companies and private vehicles, when that is not what taxpayers’ money is supposed to be used for.” Francis Alexander Malofiy, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs, told the To post.

    So soon the public will be able to see some of these reports and other data. Hertz, which emerged from its 2020 bankruptcy filing last year, had provided the information to the court under seal. The judge ruled this week that this information will now be released, in part because CBS News filed a confidentiality objection to this information. CBS reported that within these reports are the number of “theft” reports that the company admits to be errors.

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