Thrifty charging me for car while not in my possession due to their faulty maintenance

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May 24, 2019
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#1
Unbeknownst to me, I rented a vehicle from Thrifty with a defective tire. While the car was in my possession the tire suddenly and without warning experienced a side-wall blowout while driving on the interstate at highway speeds on my way to return the vehicle, as agreed. There were no road hazards or obstacles that caused this malfunction. It was simply my bad luck to have possession of the car at the time of the tire failure.

In addition to the original rental charges, I am now also being charged for the time Thrifty took to repair the vehicle while it was out of service. The car was not in my possession and was outside of the original rental period. I have also been charged other miscellaneous charges I was told by their roadside assistance personnel on the day of the incident, would not be my responsibility (gas, late return, etc.). I filed a Vehicle Incident Report in person on the date I returned the car (which is correctly dated), however, my account reflects the car was returned three days later to the location where it was originally rented. Since I accompanied the un-drivable car and tow truck to the repair yard in a different city, it is evident I am being charged for the time it was out of service. It is unclear why it would take three days to change a tire, but I am being charged for that additional time beyond my original reservation.

Thrifty's roadside assistance service took seven hours to execute causing me to miss important business for which I was in town to conduct. I have incurred significant financial damages as a result of Thrifty's handling of this matter. I have made numerous calls to Thrifty in an attempt to resolve this matter and have disputed all charges with my credit card company three times, which to date have all proven unsuccessful.

I would like all charges credited back to me in full. It is unfair for a company to profit by renting unsafe vehicles due to improper maintenance to unsuspecting customers and then causing those customers financial harm as a result. At this time I am not seeking damages, lost wages and incidentals. I simply would like a credit of $323 issued to my credit card company in an effort to expedite the resolution of this matter.

Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Ann
 

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weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,546
1,525
113
Maui Hawaii
#2
Your post is not clear about why you were returning the car "as agreed". Did you know there was a tire defect and Thrifty agreed you should return it? If this was the case, why were you driving on "on the interstate at highway speeds". If you were aware that the tire was defective it should never have been driven "on the interstate at highway speeds ".
 
Last edited:

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
1,111
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113
#3
Your post is not clear about why you were returning the car "as agreed". Did you know there was a tire defect and Thrifty agreed you should return it? If this was the case, why were you driving on "on the interstate at highway speeds". If you were aware that the tire was defective it should never have been driven "on the interstate at highway speeds ".
She said that she didn't know it was defective when she rented it. It seems that the tire blew during the return to the airport. What I don't understand is how this caused loss of business in the town if she was on the way to the airport. I thought she was going to say that she missed her flight.

I don't think that a tire blowing mean the vehicle is unsafe. This can happen to any car. In most cases (including others that you can find her in our forums) car rental companies consider a flat tire to be the responsibility of the renter. That is why they are making you pay for all the resulting expenses. To pursue your claim you will need to prove that they knew the tire was faulty and/or that you didn't damage it during the rental.

In any case, please use our company contacts for Thrify - see link above - and follow the instructions in there to write to Thrifty. Stick to the facts, don't accuse, be nice, and ask for your money back.
 
May 24, 2019
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#4
Your post is not clear about why you were returning the car "as agreed". Did you know there was a tire defect and Thrifty agreed you should return it? If this was the case, why were you driving on "on the interstate at highway speeds". If you were aware that the tire was defective it should never have been driven "on the interstate at highway speeds ".
I was returning the car on the agreed upon date. I had no idea the car had a defective tire!!
 
May 24, 2019
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#5
She said that she didn't know it was defective when she rented it. It seems that the tire blew during the return to the airport. What I don't understand is how this caused loss of business in the town if she was on the way to the airport. I thought she was going to say that she missed her flight.

I don't think that a tire blowing mean the vehicle is unsafe. This can happen to any car. In most cases (including others that you can find her in our forums) car rental companies consider a flat tire to be the responsibility of the renter. That is why they are making you pay for all the resulting expenses. To pursue your claim you will need to prove that they knew the tire was faulty and/or that you didn't damage it during the rental.

In any case, please use our company contacts for Thrify - see link above - and follow the instructions in there to write to Thrifty. Stick to the facts, don't accuse, be nice, and ask for your money back.
I did not know the tire was defective at any time I had the vehicle. I was returning the car because the portion of my trip where I needed a car was over. I had additional business in town for several more days, but I did not need a car. I have been a driver for more than 40 years and have never had a flat tire or a tire blow out. I don't think tires blowing out while driving a car under normal operating conditions is something to be expected or anticipated. I respectfully disagree and believe that driving at normal highway speeds and having a tire blow out can be a very dangerous situation. I was told by roadside assistance when I reported the problem that a flat tire is a customer responsibility and a blowout would not be a customer responsibility. That is why Thrifty paid for the tow truck and the Uber ride to get me to my downtown hotel.
 
May 24, 2019
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#6
Your post is not clear about why you were returning the car "as agreed". Did you know there was a tire defect and Thrifty agreed you should return it? If this was the case, why were you driving on "on the interstate at highway speeds". If you were aware that the tire was defective it should never have been driven "on the interstate at highway speeds ".
I was returning it on the agreed upon date and time required. I was told that it would not be considered late since my call to roadside assistance occurred before the time it was due back. I am being charged for the three days it took them to change a tire and return it back into service.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,546
1,525
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Maui Hawaii
#7
I did not know the tire was defective at any time I had the vehicle. I was returning the car because the portion of my trip where I needed a car was over. I had additional business in town for several more days, but I did not need a car. I have been a driver for more than 40 years and have never had a flat tire or a tire blow out. I don't think tires blowing out while driving a car under normal operating conditions is something to be expected or anticipated. I respectfully disagree and believe that driving at normal highway speeds and having a tire blow out can be a very dangerous situation. I was told by roadside assistance when I reported the problem that a flat tire is a customer responsibility and a blowout would not be a customer responsibility. That is why Thrifty paid for the tow truck and the Uber ride to get me to my downtown hotel.
If you have not had a flat tire or blowout in 40 yrs of driving you have been very fortunate. Until recently all cars were required to have a spare tire and equipment to change the tire in the car as part of the original equipment on delivery. Tire failure by puncture or blowout is an expected, although infrequent, event even with today's much more durable and reliable tires. There are now "run-flat" tires that allow a car to be driven up to 50 miles at 50 mph after a puncture and flat tire, but not after a blowout such as you experienced.

Unless the car and tires were very new, there was likely no warranty for a road hazard blowout such as you experienced. Some tire dealers like Costco and TireRack do include road hazard insurance with some purchases for a limited period of time.
Unless you can find a recall for the year and model of the tire which failed there is likely no recourse. Tire failure on the highway does not mean there was a defect in the tire or car unless there have been multiple reports of this event with the make/model of tire involved. A tire failure is not an indication that you were given an unsafe vehicle. "Tires blowing out while driving a car under normal operating conditions is something to be expected or anticipated"-it is actually something that is anticipated (rarely).

The additional days you were charged were for "loss of use". I agree that they should not have taken that amount of time to simply replace a tire.
You should contact Thrifty (which is opened by Hertz) by email: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/hertz/
You need to keep ALL communication in writing (email). Phone contacts rarely lead to a successful appeal.
You can contest the extra days which should not have been necessary. They may modify those charges. They may not be willing to remove the charge for the tire replacement and towing services.
 
Likes: justlisa
May 24, 2019
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#8
If you have not had a flat tire or blowout in 40 yrs of driving you have been very fortunate. Until recently all cars were required to have a spare tire and equipment to change the tire in the car as part of the original equipment on delivery. Tire failure by puncture or blowout is an expected, although infrequent, event even with today's much more durable and reliable tires. There are now "run-flat" tires that allow a car to be driven up to 50 miles at 50 mph after a puncture and flat tire, but not after a blowout such as you experienced.

Unless the car and tires were very new, there was likely no warranty for a road hazard blowout such as you experienced. Some tire dealers like Costco and TireRack do include road hazard insurance with some purchases for a limited period of time.
Unless you can find a recall for the year and model of the tire which failed there is likely no recourse. Tire failure on the highway does not mean there was a defect in the tire or car unless there have been multiple reports of this event with the make/model of tire involved. A tire failure is not an indication that you were given an unsafe vehicle. "Tires blowing out while driving a car under normal operating conditions is something to be expected or anticipated"-it is actually something that is anticipated (rarely).

The additional days you were charged were for "loss of use". I agree that they should not have taken that amount of time to simply replace a tire.
You should contact Thrifty (which is opened by Hertz) by email: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/hertz/
You need to keep ALL communication in writing (email). Phone contacts rarely lead to a successful appeal.
You can contest the extra days which should not have been necessary. They may modify those charges. They may not be willing to remove the charge for the tire replacement and towing services.
Thank you for your feedback. I learned the hard way with this experience that not all cars come with spare tires these days. In fact, Thrifty first sent someone to change the tire on the car they rented me that had no spare tire. I then had to wait another 1 1/2 hours for a tow truck. I was stranded on the side of the interstate for a total of three hours waiting for someone who could assist me. The tow truck driver was then given the wrong address to take the car and we drove around for a couple of hours trying to figure out where Thrifty wanted the car. The facility where the car was taken was unable to process Vehicle Incident Reports and I was then sent to another Thrifty location to turn in the report. In all, this incident took 7 hours of my time that prevented me from attending to my business that day. This should have been handled much more efficiently in my opinion.

I could not find a recall on the Kuhmo tire involved. I did discover it comes with a lifetime warranty. It is a mute point since I was not charged for the replacement tire or the tow. It makes no sense to me why I am being charged for loss of use if Thrifty assumed the other costs related to this incident. If a tire blowout is an anticipated event, as you describe it, then it would seem that this would just be routine maintenance to replace a tire, just as replacing a battery or repairing the air conditioner would be. Mechanical equipment fails from time to time and that time for maintenance and repair should not be assessed to the customer, in my opinion, if it was not caused by the customer.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,546
1,525
113
Maui Hawaii
#9
Thank you for your feedback. I learned the hard way with this experience that not all cars come with spare tires these days. In fact, Thrifty first sent someone to change the tire on the car they rented me that had no spare tire. I then had to wait another 1 1/2 hours for a tow truck. I was stranded on the side of the interstate for a total of three hours waiting for someone who could assist me. The tow truck driver was then given the wrong address to take the car and we drove around for a couple of hours trying to figure out where Thrifty wanted the car. The facility where the car was taken was unable to process Vehicle Incident Reports and I was then sent to another Thrifty location to turn in the report. In all, this incident took 7 hours of my time that prevented me from attending to my business that day. This should have been handled much more efficiently in my opinion.

I could not find a recall on the Kuhmo tire involved. I did discover it comes with a lifetime warranty. It is a moot point since I was not charged for the replacement tire or the tow. It makes no sense to me why I am being charged for loss of use if Thrifty assumed the other costs related to this incident. If a tire blowout is an anticipated event, as you describe it, then it would seem that this would just be routine maintenance to replace a tire, just as replacing a battery or repairing the air conditioner would be. Mechanical equipment fails from time to time and that time for maintenance and repair should not be assessed to the customer, in my opinion, if it was not caused by the customer.
Since you were not charged for the tire or towing you should contest the three days "loss of use" charge.

Thrifty should also have been able to determine that the car you had did not have a spare and not wasted so much of your time.

Compose a simple bulleted list of points and seek relief from the charges. Use mail only; do not call them.
https://forum.elliott.org/threads/how-to-deal-with-a-car-rental-damage-claim.9703/
https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
 
Apr 8, 2019
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#10
Kuhmo has had several recalls in the past. The link is http://www.arfc.org/tires/KUMHO/recalls.aspx . You don't mention type of car or tire size so it will require some extra effort on you to see if it is on the lists.
Run-flat tires in all possible sizes are not stocked by every tire dealer and may require 2-3 days to obtain from a regional warehouse so that may explain the delay in replacement.