Car Rental Company Reaches $100,000 Settlement with Attorney General
for Windshield Scam
July 6, 2009
The Arizona Attorney General's office has agreed to a $100,000
settlement with a Phoenix rental car company for violations of the
Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. The company, the Phoenix airport location
of Payless Car Rental (PCR), has been charged with charging vehicle
renters and their insurance companies for replacing the glass on
vehicles they had driven, even when the windshields were not replaced.
In addition, the attorney general claims that PCR then would rent
the same vehicle out to another customer without advising of the
pre-existing damage, and would charge them as well for replacement
of the glass.
Along with charging customers for the replacement of the glass,
PCR also is alleged to have charged them a loss-of-use fee for the
time that the windshields were to have been replaced, according
to court documents filed in the case.
This occurred at least 80 times, according to information from
the attorney general.
When PCR did have the windshields on its rental vehicles replaced,
the work was completed by D.V. Auto Center in Phoenix. As part of
the scheme, the attorney general's office says that the rental company
altered invoices created by D.V., "changing dates, vehicle
identification numbers and repair invoice numbers in order to perpetuate
"In the instances, PCR submitted the altered invoices to its
renters and/or their insurance companies in order to obtain payment
for the replacement of the windshield when, in fact, PCR did not
replace the windshield," reads the consent judgment filed in
the case in June. "In the instances, PCR thus collected or
attempted to collect monies both from the renter who was in possession
of the vehicle at the time the windshield was damaged as well as
subsequent renters who had no responsibility for the windshield
The judgment notes that the company can no longer "assert
or collect any claim for physical damage unless PCR (1) provides
the renter an opportunity to conduct a complete inspection of the
vehicle before the renter drives the vehicle from PCR's rental car
facility and (2) obtains the signature of the renter on an inspection
sheet, which allows the renter to note any and all damage to the
vehicle, including its windshield, before leaving PCR's rental car
The company also is prohibited from charging renters a loss-of-use
fee for windshield damage if it's possible that the vehicle's windshield
can be replaced and "returned to PCR's rental facility within
eight (8) hours."
In addition to the $100,000 fine, the rental company has agreed
to pay restitution "to all renters, insurers, corporations
and other legal entities from which PCR received payment for windshield
replacement and which PCR cannot affirmatively prove that the damage
to the windshield occurred during the period of time that the renter
was in possession of the vehicle." Restitution payments, totaling
$39,000, include the amount the renter paid for the windshield replacement,
the amount they paid in loss-of-use fees and any administrative
fees incurred, according to the settlement.
HERE for full text of settlement.
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