Hertz CEO plans to tackle false arrests issue, expects settlement with victims

Hertz has not yet indicated how it actually plans to resolve outstanding cases

Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr pledged to tackle the spate of false arrests his company allegedly filed against customers. 

"Hertz cares deeply about our customers, and successfully provides rental vehicles for tens of millions of travelers each year," a Hertz spokesperson told FOX Business. "As we have said, the vast majority of these claims involve renters who were many weeks or even months overdue returning vehicles and who stopped communicating with us well beyond the scheduled due date."

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Some 165 customers as of Nov. 2021 had claimed that police tried to arrest them because Hertz had reported the vehicle stolen. That number rose to over 230 by Mar. 2022, according to USA Today.  

Scherr, who joined Hertz in February this year, appeared on Bloomberg TV to address the problem, saying that Hertz had implemented new policies to prevent further arrests and would look to settle with victims. 

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The spokesperson stressed to FOX Business that "these situations where vehicles are reported to the authorities are rare and happen only after exhaustive attempts to reach the customer." 

"Hertz is committed to doing what is right by our customers, while also continuing to protect and defend against activities intended to cause the company harm," the spokesperson added. 

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But many of the customers claim their vehicle contracts were legal and blame Hertz for having a faulty system that often indicates the vehicle is overdue when that is far from the case. 

Additionally, Hertz has made no indication that it will drop active criminal cases against these victims – possibly because no such mechanism exists. 

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The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Hertz "has no mechanism to withdraw a criminal referral because … it has to maintain a relationship of ‘integrity and responsibility' with law enforcement."

"In the rare instances this happens, if you report a crime, and you later say it didn't happen, then law enforcement tends not to believe you if you retract it or say you were mistaken," a spokesperson told the Inquirer. "Hertz's continued good relationship with law enforcement is important."

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Hertz has yet to explain how it will seek to fully remedy victims of these false theft reports outside of settling with them, which may not fully remove the arrest charge that instigated the legal proceedings.