Some 230 Hertz car rental customers say the company reported them to police for stealing cars they had paid for. A federal judge in Delaware ruled last week that Hertz must disclose the number of customers reported to police. The company estimates the total at 3,500. Attorneys for the renters believe the number is closer to 8,000, the Washington Post reports. Francis Malofiy, one of the lawyers, said Hertz’s tendency to report missing cars to police without investigating first is unacceptable, either way. Hertz says it reports only renters to police after “exhaustive attempts” to reach them. “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,” the company said.
Hertz emerged from bankruptcy in June months after being sued for withholding a time-stamped receipt that could prove a man innocent of murder. Then, in a viral Twitter thread, a different customer posted a scathing letter she had written to the company to complain about her “Kafkaesque customer service” experience. Julius Burnside said he rented a car from Hertz in 2017. “Turned it in, paid for it, kept my receipts, went about my life, found out there was a warrant for my arrest and subsequently went to jail,” he told MSNBC.