(RepublicanInformer.com)- The rental car company Hertz has claimed that thousands of renters steal their vehicles. But now some customers who were falsely accused of theft are fighting back.
In a ruling last Wednesday, a federal judge in Delaware ordered Hertz to publicize its number of theft accusations, siding with attorneys representing 230 customers who say they were among those falsely arrested for auto theft.
Hertz has been battling these allegations since 2019 and maintains that it only reports renters to police after “exhaustive attempts” to reach the renters.
But according to Francis Alexander Malofiy, one of the lawyers representing the customers, when Hertz can’t find one of its cars in the parking lot or on its computer system, the company immediately reports the vehicle as stolen. Likewise, if a credit card charge doesn’t process correctly, Hertz’s system generates a theft report. And if the payment finally goes through, Hertz doesn’t update the police report generated, leaving innocent customers at the mercy of law enforcement.
Malofiy said Hertz’s method of dealing with inventory problems is to offload the responsibility to taxpayer-funded law enforcement.
One of those renters falsely accused by Hertz appeared on MSNBC last Thursday where he described what happened to him when he rented a car from Hertz in 2017.
Julius Burnside told MSNBC’s Katy Tur that he turned in the car, paid for it, kept his receipts, and went on with his life only to discover there was a warrant for his arrest. Burnside went to jail for seven months for stealing a car he didn’t steal.
But Burnside isn’t alone.
Paul-Anthony Knight was charged with felony auto theft and spent time in jail before the case was dismissed. Knight told “Inside Edition” that he was thrown to the ground, arrested, and spent over a week in jail.
Another Hertz customer, Drew Seaser told CBS News he was stopped by customs officers at the airport and told there was an arrest warrant from Georgia where Hertz alleged he stole a rental car. But Seaser had never been to Georgia or rented a vehicle from Hertz.