Hertz would like you to pay attention to the fact that the company has added EVs (mainly Teslas) to its rental fleet. But an ugly reality distracts from that. For more than a year, the company has repeatedly been accused of having customers wrongly arrested on bogus charges of “stealing” cars they legally rented. Now, CNN is reporting that yet another lawsuit has been filed against Hertz over these alleged arrests.
The latest case involves 47 people and was filed out of Delaware Superior Court. In this latest case, customers call out Hertz for a number of internal failings that led to them being unjustly arrested: falsely accusing customers of not paying, failing to correctly record rental extensions, and even failing to keep track of its rental fleet properly. Many customers had their lives drastically impacted by these false claims, and the arrests that stemmed from them.
One plaintiff in the Delaware case, Mary Lindsay Flannery, was arrested in 2020 without explanation from the police or Hertz, over a car she rented that Hertz reported as stolen. Flannery says her underage daughter was left without a guardian as a result of the arrest; her case was ultimately dismissed.
Another plaintiff, Bianca DeLoach, said police swarmed her with guns drawn at a gas station in early 2021 while her kids were inside the convenience store. While her case was eventually dismissed, she spent nine days in jail on allegedly bogus charges of vehicle theft. Another plaintiff, James Tolen, was arrested in December 2020 over a rental vehicle that Hertz had reported stolen months before Tolen even rented it.
What makes this worse is that Hertz is well aware of this ongoing scandal, and the numerous false arrests that have resulted. Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr spoke to CNBC about it back in April, saying “Hertz is going to deal properly with people who were affected.” This week, a spokesperson for Hertz told CNN “We are reviewing and considering each claim brought against Hertz on its individual merits. We have begun extending settlement offers to dozens of claimants and will continue to do so on a case by case basis.”