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Rental giant Hertz CEO promises to fix false theft reports


NEW YORK (AP) — Hertz’s new CEO says he is working to fix a glitch in the rental car giant’s systems that has led to some of its customers being wrongly accused of stealing cars. cars they had rented.

Stephen Scherr, who took over as CEO on February 28, said the company changed its practices to address issues that arose when cars were reported stolen, but the transaction was not properly recorded in the system. from Hertz.

“It was one of the first things that I started taking care of and dealing with in the first 30 days I was in the company,” Scherr told CNBC on Monday. “It is not acceptable for Hertz to have a customer… caught up in any part of what happened.”

Some Hertz customers said they were arrested and jailed because the company accused them of stealing cars they paid to rent and, in some cases, returned long before their arrest.

It is not known how many people are affected. More than 200 customers petitioned a Delaware federal judge for Hertz to release information about erroneous theft reports, and the judge ruled in favor of the tenants in February.

Scherr said the false reports implicate several hundred customers out of Hertz’s 15 million annual transactions, but customer attorneys say the number is more like 8,000.

“We changed our policies to prevent this from happening again,” Scherr said. “No customer should go through this.”

Scherr said that in some cases vehicles were reported as stolen, the report was withdrawn when the vehicle was found, “but this cancellation was not acknowledged.”

The CEO of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. appeared on CNBC to tout a plan to buy up to 65,000 electric vehicles over five years. The Estero, Fla.-based company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020 as it struggled with heavy debt and a drop in travel caused by the pandemic. It operates the car rental brands Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty.

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