A lawsuit has been filed in Florida after several customers were reported to police for stealing cars from Hertz. This caused the police to not only pull them over, but in some cases, the customers were held at gunpoint, arrested, and charged with grand theft auto. Similar cases have been filed across the country over the last few years.
According to the lawsuit, filed in Miami’s 11th Judicial Circuit, on August 15, 2022, this is not a new problem and has been happening for years and accuses the car rental company of putting profits first, and their customer’s liberty and freedom last by ignoring policies they enacted to deal with “overdue” and “lost inventory” case.
Furthermore, the lawsuit quotes Hertz from an article written in The Philadelphia Inquirer on August 3, 2020, by Sam Wood where Hertz admits to not correcting false police reports, for fear of not being believed by police in the future if they retract their statements.
The lawsuit also alleges that Hertz deletes rental extensions if there is a problem with payment if they record them at all. Rather than contacting the customer directly about a new payment method, Hertz instead backdates the said rental agreement, falsely accuses the customer of stealing their vehicle, and files a police report so that criminal charges can be filed.
The false reports are not limited to renters seeking extensions. There are also major problems with Hertz’s vehicle tracking department. The unit, which is responsible for tracking vehicles, does not have a way to connect with local branches, or the call center to pull up records on customers and/or vehicles. Because of this, the vehicle tracking department is quick to report the vehicles as stolen, even if they are sitting in a Hertz lot. Hertz, the lawsuit alleges, then rents the reported stolen vehicles to customers and in many cases is pulled over by law enforcement. Because grand theft auto is a felony, officers treat this as a felony stop which means they can draw their weapons.
Plaintiffs have not specified a monetary amount for damages, but have asked for compensation for past, present, and future damages, including mental, and physical.
The case is styled Manuel Garcia Lizasoain, Marc Bednarczyk, Dan Shurtz, Adam Cuevas, Ameerah Singleton, Iasia A. Eaves, Jenelle Reece-Williams, Franklin Richards, Celita James, And Connie Totman, Plaintiffs, V. Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., The Hertz Corporation, And Hertz Vehicles LLC and can be found in the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County, Florida.