Hertz is being sued by hundreds of US customers who allege they were wrongfully arrested after the rental company reported them to the police for stealing cars they say they had legitimately rented.
One woman spent 40 days in jail – away from her kids and two-month-old baby – because she was arrested for car theft. Another customer spent seven months in jail and eventually signed a plea deal just to bring the ordeal to an end.
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The allegations against Hertz have been public since 2019. A judge recently ordered Hertz to unseal documents that show the company filed more than 3,300 police reports about stolen vehicles involving its customers each year.
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Unlike the brand’s pigskin-slinging spokesman, Cindi Musgraves—who is one of the 230 claimants in the class-action lawsuit against Hertz—was not recharged by her experience with Hertz. Due to flaws in the company’s rental system which causes it to report cars as stolen for reasons as trivial as an update to the rental agreement, she was arrested at gunpoint.
Charles Doucette, a health care consultant from New Hampshire, was arrested aboard a cruise ship when police accused him of stealing his Hertz rental car.
“Here I am getting off a cruise ship and I’m handcuffed and arrested and thrown in jail,” Doucette said. “I have zero criminal records. I’ve never been arrested. It’s just absolutely absurd.”
All told, the 230 claimants spent a total of 2742 days in jail.