Hertz Customers Wrongly Arrested or Jailed Over False Stolen Car Reports

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Hertz Customers Arrested Jailed

Hertz Customers Sue After Wrongful Arrests

Hertz customers are suing the rental car company after being falsely arrested and even jailed in some cases after the company listed the rental cars as stolen. Over 150 people from several states have filed legal complaints against Hertz.

Each customer claims they were falsely arrested for driving a stolen vehicle despite paid for their rental and having receipts to confirm it. Hertz allegedly used an unreliable computer system and filed false police reports which lead to the arrests.

Some customers were even jailed for months. While imprisoned under false pretenses some of the claimants suffered heart attacks, panic attacks, seizures, and strokes as some lost custody of their kids or lost homes.

CBS writes about one claimant, James Tolen, who was arrested after a traffic stop in Houston late last year. He and his fiancée were driving a pickup truck rented from Hertz, and they were pulled over for driving a car reported stolen by the company. Tolen begged the officers to look at his rental contract. After seeing the document, one of the officers called Hertz and told the company it needed to get a better system. The car had been reported stolen by Hertz three months earlier.

More cases have been reported of customers jailed, and even arrested after returning a Hertz rental. Julius Burnside says he was incarcerated for seven months because of Hertz, even after paying $2,300 for the car he rented.

Hertz has countered the claims by saying that “the vast majority of these cases involve renters who were many weeks or even months overdue returning vehicles and who stopped communicating with us well beyond the scheduled due date.”

DDGhttp://dannydealguru.com
Based in NYC. Points/miles enthusiast for years and actively writing about it for the last 6+ years at Danny the Deal Guru. I'm always looking out for deals. Making a few bucks is always nice, but the traveling is by far the best part of this business.

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  1. Wow, this happened to me back in 2013 so this article really blew my mind! I rented a Chevy Malibu from Hertz in SLC for 10 days, but informed the rental counter there was a possibility I’d need the car for a week or so longer. They said it was no problem & I’d just have to pay the difference for additional days whenever I returned the vehicle. I paid a few hundred dollars for a deposit, as I was using a debit card to pay for my rental. I actually did end up keeping the car for about 5 or 6 days longer than my original rental reservation & stopped to fill the gas tank up on my way to SLC to return the car. After paying for my gas, the ignition wouldn’t start & the dashboard was blinking “THEFT DETERRENT ENGAGED”. I thought maybe I did something to lock the starting mechanism because sometimes the car wouldn’t start unless the key (with a microchip) was inserted a certain way. With the car being a Chevy, I pushed the “OnStar” button to ask for help. OnStar told me to hold & they would get someone to help me. The gas station was slammed with traffic & angry customers wanting to get gas so I had my son & fiance push me while I steered the car over to a parking stall on the side of the gas station. As we’re sitting in the car with the doors open waiting for help that OnStar said they were sending, police officers & SWAT team members wearing masks surrounded us on foot & by vehicle & ordered us (aka YELLED at us) one by one, to get out with our hands up & lie face down on the ground while they proceeded to handcuff us. The police refused to call the rental office because theyb said that’s who reported the car stolen & after looking at my rental documents in the glovebox, and if everything checked out the charges against me would be dropped but this was something that would have to be taken up with whatever judge was assigned to the case. Basically, my experience has been that most police officers aren’t in the business of trying to figure things out or make decisions on who’s right or wrong. That’s a judge’s job, not a police officer’s. They’re there to enforce the law & make arrests & the details can be hashed out later in court. If things really are just a mix-up or a big mistake, it’ll get settled and taken care of in court. However, that doesn’t help when you’re handcuffed & being arrested & it certainly makes no difference to the bail bond companies that get paid for getting you out of jail, regardless of what happens to the charges later. So after we’re all treated like America’s Most Wanted, in front of God knows how many people recognized me at the local gas station down the street from my house, & after I’m carted off to jail & forced to pay $1000 to a bondsman, I’m released from jail with a 2nd degree felony of Auto Theft!!! I contacted the rental company who told me I could come down SLC to pick up my belongings that were left in the car & talk to a manager, which I did. My expensive Ray-Bans were mysteriously missing from the glove box but the manager was as nice as he could be anything wasn’t able to help me much, as he said it was their systems that automatically engage the theft deterrent measures that are taken. I fought this in court for over a year & since I technically did keep the car a few days longer than my rental contract was written for, I was unable to get the charge completely dismissed and instead it was lessened to a misdemeanor of unauthorized use of a vehicle after a rental contract period. My deposit was used towards the additional days rental charges and I didn’t owe them any additional funds so how that could be construed as theft of anything is beyond me! It’s nice to know I’m not the only person this has happened to, but it also makes me very sorry for those poor others that have had to go through this. Unbelievable!

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