Hertz Italy Burnt Clutch

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Sep 12, 2018
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#1
I had a very similar issue to this post:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/hertz-italy-burnt-clutch-claim-us-1217-18.8531/

We had almost the same incident just mine was few months after his.

I picked up a car in Florence for return in Rome. I immediately noticed there was something wrong with the car while in the garage and told the Hertz person about it in the garage. They told me it was not an issue. Approximately an hour into driving, the car broke down. The car was towed and I was given a new car and had no problem with the new car for the rest of the trip.

I did have the super insurance and even roadside assistance. The extra insurance was advertised to me as having $0 liability except for losing the key, using the wrong fuel, or some sort of criminal act. I was not provided with the insurance policy itself (despite asking for it) and I still have not been provided with the insurance policy. Thus, I could not inspect the fine print.

When I returned Hertz charged me approximately $1205 dollars (which is a similar amount to the other poster but is probably slightly off due to the exchange rate).

I will note, I have driven a manual transmission for a long time and it was not me who caused the problem (as the previous poster noted).

I have read the comment thread on the previous post and I do understand that from now on if there is even the slightest issue, I will return the car. That being said, even the second car I had drove a little funny and I didn't have any issue with that. I do not have the facilities to do a 21 point inspection of the engine on picking up a rental car.

I have corresponded with Hertz and asked for the following documents:

- Your copy of the original agreement and the receipt given to me when I returned the car.

- Time stamped and dated pictures of the damage.

- A picture of the mileage indicator showing the mileage on the car when the damage was noted.

- A copy of the incident report.

- A copy of the receipt showing the car was repaired and the cost that was paid for the repair.

- A copy of the license plate number on the car.

- A copy of the maintenance log the last time the car was serviced before I rented the car.

- A copy of any complaints you ha about the operation of the car for the rentals that occurred before I rented the car.

- A time and a place I can have a mechanic of my choosing inspect the car.

- The first notice you gave me with supporting documentation that I did any damage to the car.

- The advertising you use to sell the Super CDW coverage.

- An itemized breakdown of all charges you have made to my credit card as a result of my rental.

Hertz has not provided me with most of the documents requested and I am continuing to elevate the matter. I hope to find a resolution. I would do a chargeback but apparently Hertz may black list you if you do. I am a litigator though and will keep all options open.

I am posting this here at the request of Elliott. 1. It shows Hertz tactics in Italy and that this is not a one time thing (literally another poster rented from the same place with the same plan and had virtually the same experience as me) so it should be a warning to others, and 2. Elliott wanted me to post for Hertz to see this as well.

I will keep this thread updated.
 
Jun 30, 2017
378
406
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Maui Hawaii
#2
I had a very similar issue to this post:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/hertz-italy-burnt-clutch-claim-us-1217-18.8531/

We had almost the same incident just mine was few months after his.

I picked up a car in Florence for return in Rome. I immediately noticed there was something wrong with the car while in the garage and told the Hertz person about it in the garage. They told me it was not an issue. Approximately an hour into driving, the car broke down. The car was towed and I was given a new car and had no problem with the new car for the rest of the trip.

I did have the super insurance and even roadside assistance. The extra insurance was advertised to me as having $0 liability except for losing the key, using the wrong fuel, or some sort of criminal act. I was not provided with the insurance policy itself (despite asking for it) and I still have not been provided with the insurance policy. Thus, I could not inspect the fine print.

When I returned Hertz charged me approximately $1205 dollars (which is a similar amount to the other poster but is probably slightly off due to the exchange rate).

I will note, I have driven a manual transmission for a long time and it was not me who caused the problem (as the previous poster noted).

I have read the comment thread on the previous post and I do understand that from now on if there is even the slightest issue, I will return the car. That being said, even the second car I had drove a little funny and I didn't have any issue with that. I do not have the facilities to do a 21 point inspection of the engine on picking up a rental car.

I have corresponded with Hertz and asked for the following documents:

- Your copy of the original agreement and the receipt given to me when I returned the car.

- Time stamped and dated pictures of the damage.

- A picture of the mileage indicator showing the mileage on the car when the damage was noted.

- A copy of the incident report.

- A copy of the receipt showing the car was repaired and the cost that was paid for the repair.

- A copy of the license plate number on the car.

- A copy of the maintenance log the last time the car was serviced before I rented the car.

- A copy of any complaints you ha about the operation of the car for the rentals that occurred before I rented the car.

- A time and a place I can have a mechanic of my choosing inspect the car.

- The first notice you gave me with supporting documentation that I did any damage to the car.

- The advertising you use to sell the Super CDW coverage.

- An itemized breakdown of all charges you have made to my credit card as a result of my rental.

Hertz has not provided me with most of the documents requested and I am continuing to elevate the matter. I hope to find a resolution. I would do a chargeback but apparently Hertz may black list you if you do. I am a litigator though and will keep all options open.

I am posting this here at the request of Elliott. 1. It shows Hertz tactics in Italy and that this is not a one time thing (literally another poster rented from the same place with the same plan and had virtually the same experience as me) so it should be a warning to others, and 2. Elliott wanted me to post for Hertz to see this as well.

I will keep this thread updated.
Not to be too cynical (I am though) you almost wonder if they have a 'trick' car that has a clutch that they can modify to mimic failure. They then charge for a new clutch (but do not replace the trick clutch) and rent it again with the same "rinse and repeat" cycle. Cynical but not impossible with the identical report from two renters at the same location. If two have posted here, there likely are more out there.

Hertz knows that a clutch failure is not covered by any excess coverage.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
hertz has the following language on the website:

Please note your liability for damage to or loss of the vehicle will not be reduced where you or an authorised driver are grossly negligent (for example failure to assess the vehicle’s height, driving on unsuitable road conditions, improper use of the vehicle, contribution to damage to / theft of the vehicle) and in particular, but not limited to, in the following circumstances:

Striking overhead or overhanging objects;
Driving into a barrier that is too low for the vehicle to pass beneath;
Driving into a barrier in a car park before it fully opens;
Driving on a road in bad condition without due care resulting in damage to the undercarriage;
Driving on a beach causing damage by salt water and/or sand;
Driving through flooded roads causing damage to the engine;
Putting wrong fuel in the vehicle or otherwise contaminating the fuel;
Damage occurring as a result of ignoring a warning light;
Burning a clutch (which requires persistent ill use) or using the handbrake incorrectly;
Damage to the wheel rim caused by driving with a flat tyre;

https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/rese...emplates/rentalTerms.jsp?KEYWORD=CDW&EOAG=FCO

I do not know of any CDW or insurance that covers clutch damage.

I think there may be a number of casual drivers of manual transmissions that abuse the clutch — especially with the hills — and then it fails on the next renter.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,373
13,044
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
The local office will balk at providing some of the information we tell you to ask for. This is not unusual, but what you want is for proof damage wasn’t reported before, that they have performed regular maintenance to the cars, and that it’s the same car you rented and the mileage checked.

We’ve had cases where there have been hundreds of miles on the odometer after the consumer returned the car (indicating someone rented the car after the writer returned the car) and even cases where the license plate picture sent was for another car.

That’s why we also advise people to stop writing to the local office and write to the corporate offices. Once the main office looks at the docs, that’s when the cases get dropped because there is doubt the letter writer actually caused the damage. And it often takes going up the executive level to get someone who actually looks at the documents.
 
Sep 12, 2018
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#5
hertz has the following language on the website:

Please note your liability for damage to or loss of the vehicle will not be reduced where you or an authorised driver are grossly negligent (for example failure to assess the vehicle’s height, driving on unsuitable road conditions, improper use of the vehicle, contribution to damage to / theft of the vehicle) and in particular, but not limited to, in the following circumstances:

Striking overhead or overhanging objects;
Driving into a barrier that is too low for the vehicle to pass beneath;
Driving into a barrier in a car park before it fully opens;
Driving on a road in bad condition without due care resulting in damage to the undercarriage;
Driving on a beach causing damage by salt water and/or sand;
Driving through flooded roads causing damage to the engine;
Putting wrong fuel in the vehicle or otherwise contaminating the fuel;
Damage occurring as a result of ignoring a warning light;
Burning a clutch (which requires persistent ill use) or using the handbrake incorrectly;
Damage to the wheel rim caused by driving with a flat tyre;

https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/rese...emplates/rentalTerms.jsp?KEYWORD=CDW&EOAG=FCO

I do not know of any CDW or insurance that covers clutch damage.

I think there may be a number of casual drivers of manual transmissions that abuse the clutch — especially with the hills — and then it fails on the next renter.
This was done as a separate post but the issue has been discussed at length in a related post. See: https://forum.elliott.org/threads/hertz-italy-burnt-clutch-claim-us-1217-18.8531/

In short,

1. If this is an exclusion to a general policy, it the insurer's burden to show a legal and factual exception. No evidence has been presented to me that I did ANYTHING persistently (same with the original poster). We both had the car less than an hour. Hertz is not providing the needed documentation.

2. Hertz has an agreement with the EU to clearly state the terms when renting the vehicle. The information you have posted was not given to me at all when renting the vehicle. In fact, the opposite, I was told that only using the wrong gas, losing the key, or criminal activity was not covered. A failure to follow these EU regulations prohibits Hertz from charging even if they could meet their burden in #1.

3. EU regulations require Hertz to inform the renter of the alleged damages BEFORE making a charge and give the renter the opportunity to dispute the charges. Hertz did not do that here. Once again, pursuant to EU regulations, Hertz is prohibited from charging me at all since they did not follow the regulations. This was not done in the original post either.

There are other factual issues which I will not raise now (but will post when this is over as it may help others) but I do not want to reveal my litigation strategy.

I do not know if you are genuinely trying to help or simply questioning to question. That being said, I will not be responding further to you. I posted here because Elliot.org asked me to and to share my experiences so that it may help others. So rather than continue to respond to you, I will be posting with my experiences as I go through this process in the hopes of helping others who may experience the same issue.

If anyone else has had the same issue, please feel free to contact me.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,373
13,044
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
AW, the post we have on the car rental forum on how to fight these came from putting together suggestions that worked from various incidents we had here and information culled from consumers who had this problem that we helped.

We are always looking for experiences to add to that post on other ways to be successful in these claims.

I urge you to keep us informed on what you do that might get your case dismissed. If your arguments work, we will definitely be able to update the existing post we have to include other ways to fight to get these type of cases dismissed.

One thing you need to understand is everyone is a volunteer here and we have learned questions to ask and policies to quote to assist and get to the bottom of a story. These are proven strategies WE have been doing for many years that help consumers.

You may not agree with every post but we ask you the be respectful to those that are trying to help. If you post something in a public forum you need to be prepared for information posted back you might not agree with but we have used in the past.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 12, 2018
8
1
3
#7
AW, the post we have on the car rental forum on how to fight these came from putting together suggestions that worked from various incidents we had here and information culled from consumers who had this problem that we helped.

We are always looking for experiences to add to that post on other ways to be successful in these claims.

I urge you to keep us informed on what you do that might get your case dismissed. If your arguments work, we will definitely be able to update the existing post we have to include other ways to fight to get these type of cases dismissed.

One thing you need to understand is everyone is a volunteer here and we have learned questions to ask and policies to quote to assist and get to the bottom of a story. These are proven strategies WE have been doing for many years that help consumers.

You may not agree with every post but we ask you the be respectful to those that are trying to help. If you post something in a public forum you need to be prepared for information posted back you might not agree with but we have used in the past.
I am following your post on disputing the charges and also using other ideas. As I have stated, several times Neil, I will keep this updated with what I am doing and what the results are for others.

It is fine for other people to post things I disagree with. I just (1) do not want people to think that they do not have a case based on the erroneous arguments people are raising and (2) I will not keep responding to posts rehashing those same erroneous arguments which have already been discussed.

Like I said Neil, now for the third time, I will keep this updated for the benefit of others. If anyone has more in depth discussion on the techniques that could be helpful to others, I am happy to converse with people about those as well.
 
Likes: Mel65
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
I would not rent a manual car because of what is written on the website and concern over previous renters. My significant other feels the same and he has driven a stick shift for over 2 decades.

I am interested in hearing how this develops, as there have been several complaints here — and not just for Italy.
 
Jun 30, 2017
378
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63
Maui Hawaii
#9
Having driven a standard transmission for over 50 years and having 3 cars with standard transmission now, I ALWAYS request a car with standard transmission when available. In many areas, an identical car with auto transmission can cost 25-50% more than the same model with a standard. We were just in Tahiti and rented from Hertz twice--the prices were dramatically lower for standard transmission. The same was true in New Zealand the last time we visited. So you pays your money and takes your choice.

From Hertz Papeete:

Economy Manual (Group A) EDMV

(A) Peugeot 108
  • 4 Passengers
  • 1 Large Suitcase, 1 Small Suitcase
  • MManual Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
[+]Vehicle & Rate Details
Select2309.73 XPF Per Day(14949.52 Approx. Tot.)

Economy Automatic (Group B) EDAV

(B) Kia Picanto
or similar
  • 4 Passengers
  • 1 Large Suitcase, 1 Small Suitcase
  • AAutomatic Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
[+]Vehicle & Rate Details
Select3106.19 XPF Per Day(19449.54 Approx. Tot.)
 
Last edited:
Mar 23, 2015
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#10
hertz has the following language on the website:

Please note your liability for damage to or loss of the vehicle will not be reduced where you or an authorised driver are grossly negligent ... and in particular, but not limited to, in the following circumstances:

Burning a clutch (which requires persistent ill use) or using the handbrake incorrectly;
.
Seems to me that in this instance, Hertz's own language let's the OP off the hook! It says "which requires persistent ill use" and if they returned it within an HOUR, how persistent could their "ill use" have been? This seems like such a scam. If Hertz is appropriately checking vehicles in and doing maintenance after each rental, they have to know when things are starting to go downhill and if they keep renting vehicles that are destined to fail, that seems highly unethical if not illegal to me!
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,373
13,044
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#11
Standard transmissions are much easier to rent in Europe and much cheaper.

The lesson to be learned here is if you feel the transmission has a problem or isn’t running quite right- turn around immediately and bring the car back. Even an hour is too much time where these companies will turn around and try to blame the renter.

Experience drivers of manual cars know when the transmission doesn’t feel right and doing what one would normally do- give it a little time to see if that’s just how the car runs- is an excuse for the car rental company to unjustly claim you damaged it. No matter how ridiculous it seems to the normal person, it seems these car rental companies don’t accept blame for anything.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,373
13,044
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
Seems to me that in this instance, Hertz's own language let's the OP off the hook! It says "which requires persistent ill use" and if they returned it within an HOUR, how persistent could their "ill use" have been? This seems like such a scam. If Hertz is appropriately checking vehicles in and doing maintenance after each rental, they have to know when things are starting to go downhill and if they keep renting vehicles that are destined to fail, that seems highly unethical if not illegal to me!
I agree. In AW’s case, I find it impossible to think he damaged the car in an hour.

I look forward to the outcome he receives- it might give us more information we can add to the sticky about how to fight these cases.

We had Joe the attorney help with our original but AW has a unique perspective that might work.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#13
I would also say for automatic transmission if anything seems wrong with the car exchange it.

I did not get out of the parking lot at the Florence airport before going back and asking for a different car. Warning lights kept going on and off, including the fasten seat belt when the belt was on. Rental person said oh likely a computer glitch that will not happen again and I said please exchange the car, and I got another car — same make model and even color and it worked perfectly.
 
Likes: Neil Maley