Hertz Sued by Customers Stopped by Police After Their Rentals Were Mistakenly Reported Stolen
Hertz is being sued by customers whose rental cars were wrongfully reported as stolen, including Saleema Lovelace and Nick Wright, who in separate incidents were pulled over and had guns drawn on them while in their rental vehicles.
Saleema Lovelace was driving a car she rented from Dollar Rent A Car, which is owned by Hertz, when she was pulled over by police officers with guns drawn in Pennsylvania.
As she was surrounded by officers, Lovelace was ordered to calm down and put her hands behind her back.
“C'mon step back, Miss! Step back!” a police officer yells at Lovelace, police body camera footage showed.
“Sure, I didn't do anything wrong,” she says.
But officers say they were taking her into custody, saying, “The reason you're being detained right now. This car is reported stolen from Hertz Rent a Car.”
Lovelace began to hyperventilate and as she told police she rented the car, she even told police she had the receipt for the rental that proved she rented the car on her phone.
“Well, that's where it's between you guys. Unfortunately, they kind of screwed you over and they said that the car was stolen,” a police officer tells her.
Police placed Lovelace in handcuffs and took her to jail.
“I've never been inside a police car before or been in handcuffs before,” she tells Inside Edition. “I was really, really scared! …I just lost it! A stolen car, what do you mean? This car is not stolen!”
Lovelace was telling the truth. The charges against her were dismissed.
Nick Wright says the same thing happened to him during a vacation in Georgia. He and his 14-year-old daughter rented a car from Thrifty, which is also owned by Hertz. They were pulled over during their very first hour on vacation.
“As we came out to the car, there were just police cars from every direction,” Wright tells Inside Edition.
Police drew their guns on the vehicle after their rental license plate was reported stolen, he says.
“Hadn't even had the car for 45 minutes,” he says.
Wright recorded video footage from the scene.
“This is what happens when the rental company doesn't clear a stolen license plate vehicle from a national database,” he says in the video. “Yep, that just happened!”
Police radioed in for clarification.
“We have a vehicle entered through you all that was reported stolen, but it appears these people just rented it and were just trying to get clarification on this vehicle,” an officer says.
Wright and his daughter were not arrested. Wright, his daughter and Lovelace are all suing Hertz.
“How a corporation can be so callous in their customer service approach is hard to imagine,” Francis Malofiy, their attorney, tells Inside Edition.
Hertz CEO Stephen Sherr vowed to make things right last April.
“It's not acceptable to Hertz to have any customer, a single customer, caught up in what's happened,” he previously said.
“Hertz needs to be held 100% accountable for every single person this has affected,” Wright tells Inside Edition. “To find out this has been going on for four or five years; it's atrocious.”
Hertz did not comment on the specific allegations in our report but have moved to dismiss Lovelace's case. They have until January to respond to Wright's lawsuit. In a statement Hertz told Inside Edition, in part, they rent vehicles to tens of millions of satisfied people every year. They also say they care deeply about their customers and work as rapidly as possible to reach resolutions with drivers who had a negative experience.
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