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Blumenthal Demands Hertz Fix Reckless Practices Wrongly Landing Customers in Jail

“Hertz must swiftly correct course and ensure that its customers are not ensnared in legal battles and the criminal justice system due to its reckless recordkeeping practices and careless company policies.”

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Amid disturbing reports that Hertz has been wrongly reporting customers to the police for stealing rental cars, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, called on the company to immediately fix their reckless practices. Reports reveal that Hertz has for at least the past four years filed more than 3,000 stolen vehicle reports with law enforcement each year. Many of these reports turned out to be inaccurate, resulting in false arrests of innocent Hertz customers who were arrested at gunpoint, jailed for days and sometimes months, lost their jobs or homes, and incurred thousands of dollars in attorney fees.

“It appears that Hertz’s abysmal record-keeping has resulted in its customers, through no fault of their own, being arrested on the basis of inaccurate stolen vehicle reports. This is all the more concerning because arrests—even false ones—have life-changing and long-lasting consequences,” wrote Blumenthal to Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr. “I demand information about the policies and procedures Hertz has in place related to stolen vehicle reports and that Hertz to take immediate steps to provide redress to customers who have suffered the profound and enduring harm of a false arrest.”

Blumenthal pushed back on Hertz’s claim that some of the reports it files are legitimate and raised serious concerns about the company’s apparent lack of willingness to correct the inaccurate reports, writing: “Even if, as Hertz continues to contend, that some of the 3,000-plus reports it files each year are legitimate, one inaccurate report that leads to one false arrest is one too many. These false arrests are all the more concerning in light of reporting that Hertz has seemingly been unwilling to amend or withdraw its inaccurate stolen vehicle reports when presented with evidence that a vehicle has not, in fact, been stolen.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.