While Hertz has been attempting to garner some positive news with reports of the company expanding its EV offerings, there’s still a lot of ugly going on between the company and its customers. Namely, false accusations of rental thefts. INC.com reports that five more customers have come forward and are suing the company over false accusations of rental theft.
There have to be hundreds of people who have accused the company of having them falsely arrested over their rental cars, and the timeline of this problem has only gotten worse since its began.
In late 2021, 160 people came forward and claimed Hertz had them falsely arrested. A few months later, it was reported that the exact number of people who had been arrested wasn’t known. Because of this, a federal judge ordered the company to make its rental records public. But Hertz tried to downplay the number of arrests, acknowledging that it happened, but only to 0.014 percent of renters out of 25 million annual rental transactions. But customers started to come forward with claims and records of their arrests.
The company got a new CEO at the end of February 2022, a former Goldman Sachs executive named Stephen Scherr. But rather than address the arrests, his first month on the job was filled with ordering thousands of EVs from Polestar along with a problematic deal for thousands of Teslas.
And the accusations kept coming. In April, a former manager turned whistleblower for the company came forward saying Hertz was going about the arrests the wrong way, and that they were happening because of how outdated the company’s systems are. Not long after, a whopping 300 people came forward and claimed the false arrests; three months later another 47 people sued the company over the arrests. And now more customers are accusing the company.
Five more customers have come forward with disturbing reports of being arrested after renting vehicles. A few instances claim to have happened mere minutes after the vehicles were rented. The five customers brought their case to the Delaware Superior Court. Their claims back up the whistleblower’s account of the company using outdated inventory systems to track its vehicles. All five of the customers allege that they were arrested at gunpoint over the rentals and that the arrests happened in the summer of 2021, right after the company emerged from Bankruptcy. This is significant because up until recently, as INC pointed out, all the arrest cases had been handled in bankruptcy court. But now that the company isn’t in bankruptcy anymore, these cases are going to come at the company from all sides.
The new CEO called the arrests unacceptable not long after he took the position in April. He claimed that the company had put in “safeguards” to keep the arrests from happening again. And while a good bulk of the arrests happened before he was in the position, arrests and claims of arrests since he’s been on the job have still been happening. It’s unknown what safeguards he was referring to. The company issued a statement regarding the recent allegations that said everything and nothing at the same time.
Hertz cares deeply about our customers, and we successfully provide rental vehicles for tens of millions of travelers each year. Where our customers have been negatively affected, we are committed to doing what is right by our customers. At the same time, we will protect and defend against false claims intended to cause our company harm.