E-Z Rent-A-Car fraudulent damage claims
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- On June 26, 2010 I rented a gold Sonata (with almost 29,000 miles on it) for 3 days from E-Z Rent-A-Car, 5124 Cypress Street, Tampa, Fl 33607. When I started driving the car it was somewhat noisy and I thought it had a flat tire or a hole in the muffler. I stopped at an empty parking lot near the entrance to the freeway to check the tires and they seemed to have plenty of air. The closer I got to Dade City, Fl the louder the car became. I knew it was not the motor because it did not make a noise when the car was just idling. When I got to my destination, I immediately called E-Z Rent-A-Car to let them know the car had some type of mechanical defect. I explained to Kevin what was going on and he told me to bring the car back as Sonata’s were known to be noisy cars and they’d give me a different car. I explained that I had plans for Saturday evening that did not include driving the vehicle, but I would return the car Sunday AM.
On June 27, 2010 Sunday AM, I returned the car to E-Z Rent-A-Car. The car was checked and I explained to the young man what the problem was. When the young man checked the Sonata, there was absolutely no visible damage to the car. In fact, the young man told me to talk to the manager when I returned the new rental (an Electra) and I would get a discount for the inconvenience of having to return the Sonata and switch out the cars.
On Tuesday, June 29, 2010, as planned I returned the Electra. I was not aware that there was any problem regarding the Sonata rental. Several days later I checked my cell phone which had not been working well and found a message from Darrell the manager of E-Z Rent-A-Car. After returning from vacation I called E-Z Rent-A-Car to explain that I definitely had done nothing to damage the Sonata. When I returned the Sonata, it was in the exact same condition as when I picked it up. I did nothing to damage any part of that car.
Darrell told me the matter had been turned over to Risk Management Services as there was now damage to the front wheel. I was under the assumption I was being accused of causing mechanical problems and I told him what ever was wrong with the car was the result of previous renters. He told me they would be checking with the previous renters but all they would do is to research the problem was to ask a survey question as to whether the previous renters had experienced any problems.
There were no damages noted when I returned it and the young man who checked the car in did not note any damages when he checked the car prior to exchanging it for another rental car. The policy at E-Z Rent-A-Car is that they will not give you a second rental car if you damage the first. I was given the second car rental because there was no obvious defect noted when I turned in the Sonata. Any mechanical defect that the car had was present when I rented it. E-Z Rent-A-Car is now billing me for $1,200 damages to the car. This damage claim against me is a fraud and a scam perpetuated by E-Z Rent-A-Car, Tampa, Florida!