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Hertz accuses thousands of car hirers of theft, court papers show

Hertz Corp., which is facing lawsuits from hundreds of car renters who say they were arrested for car theftfiles thousands of related criminal complaints against customers each year, according to a statement in newly released court documents.

Over a four-year period, the company filed nearly 8,000 theft reports annually, advocates of falsely arrested customers said late last week in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Wilmington. , Delaware. Advocates cited internal data from Hertz that a judge ordered the company to disclose.

The analysis of theft reports is not public, so it’s not yet known how many are filed against customers and how many are about other types of theft. Under certain circumstances, Hertz will tell the police that a customer may have stolen a car. Many of these people turned out to have valid contracts and were allegedly falsely arrested, according to the lawsuits.

Messages left for Hertz representatives were not immediately returned. CBS, which has hired attorneys to help seal the documents, previously reported Hertz said “the vast majority” of cases involved tenants who were weeks or months past their dues and tenants. The authority is brought in only after “making every effort” to reach the customer.

In a court hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath ordered annual theft counts to be made public, siding with advocates of 220 people suing Hertz, who say more details about the theft should be made public. Hertz’s internal anti-theft program.

Court documents show that some customers rental car imprisoned, sometimes years after they had rented and returned the car. At least one person is said to have been held with a gun just hours after paying rent.

“Hertz now acknowledges that it reports thousands of its customers for auto theft each year,” attorneys for the plaintiffs said in court papers. They argue that the problem may be rooted in systemic, company-wide problems.

False arrest claims are often associated with long-term rentals, some set up directly by the customer, others through auto insurance company, according to court documents.

Those who thought Hertz had mistakenly arrested them filed in bankruptcy court demanding to be paid the same as the company’s other creditors. Walrath oversaw Hertz’s Chapter 11 reorganization, which ended last year with a plan to pay creditors in full.

The case is Hertz Corp. 20-11218, United States Bankruptcy Court, County of Delaware (Wilmington).

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