Advantage Damage Claim for Mechanical Issues

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Mar 13, 2019
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Thank-you for your help in advance. On April 12, 2018, we rented a car from Advantage Car Rental in Maui. The second day we were driving the car and heard a bang and smoke started coming from the tailpipe We immediately pulled over and called Advantage. They sent a tow truck to pick up the car and drop off another one. We had driven approx 40 miles total, there were approx 13,500 miles on the car if I remember correctly. We dropped off the second car on April 19th without any issues. We did not take the insurance, as we have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card which covers everything but unfortunately, we did not file a claim in the first 60 days so they will not cover any damages. Roughly a month later we got a call from Advantage Customer Services stating the engine was blown. They asked us what happened, we said we were driving down the road and heard a bang, we called, a tow truck came picked up old car and gave us a new one. They said they would get back to us, and we never heard anything else
Fast forward to March 12, 2019, we get a call from Purco Fleet Services stating that they are investigating a claim for the damaged car. They want us to respond in writing what happened so they can determine if there is a claim. We are hesitant to respond, it seems like a trap. We did not damage the car. This was a mechanical failure.
Can you please advise.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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Purco Fleet Services is handling claims now for a number of car rental companies. This letter seems legit. Just tell them what you have said here . . .
 
Mar 13, 2019
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Update- We did as suggested and now have received a bill from Purco for $22,000, which was the list price of the car (highly inflated $33K for a Dodge Charger) + loss of use minus salvage value. In the package they sent us, they cited "undercarriage" damage and included a bunch of pictures. It is hard really see what the "damage" is because of all the photos are so close up. All I know is we only drove the car 54 miles on paved roads and hit nothing. The photographs that they took and we took of the outside of the vehicle shows a car in pristine condition. The only damage is they are claiming is undercarriage. Within the images of the damage, you can clearly see pieces of old duct tape that had been used to hold pieces of the undercarriage in place. My theory is the car was damaged earlier and duct taped up to hid the issue, by whom I am not sure.
We need to respond to this note from Purco. Any advice on how to handle our response would be greatly appreciated.