Hertz settles class action relating to excessive toll charges

Posted on: July 29th, 2013 by Steve Larson
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Fotolia CarRental car agency Hertz Corporation agreed to pay $11 million to settle a class action lawsuit involving allegations of conspiring with an electronic toll company to charge customers excessive fees. 

In a joint motion filed May 30, 2013, Hertz, American Solutions Inc. and the plaintiffs asked the court to preliminarily approve the proposed class action lawsuit settlement, saying it finally puts an end to years of “highly contentious” litigation. 

“Since the first case was filed in late 2009, defendants have filed multiple motions to dismiss, both sides have deposed the others’ witnesses in various states, [and] the settlement negotiations were fractious,” according to a joint motion filed on May 30 by Hertz and the plaintiffs. “The court can and should readily find that the proposed settlement is the result of extensive discovery and informed, arm’s-length negotiations in a truly adversarial litigation.” 

The defendants and plaintiffs also requested conditional certification of a nationwide class of Hertz customers who rented cars containing ATS’ PlatePass between July 1, 2006 and March 31, 2010 and incurred extra, hidden charges. 

Plaintiffs in the Hertz class action lawsuit accused the defendants of failing to inform Hertz customers that they are required to pay a service fee for each day they rent a Hertz car containing a PlatePass, even when they do not use it.  One of the plaintiffs claims she was charged an additional $77.75 for administrative fees and toll usage that wasn’t clearly explained in her rental agreement. 

“The Hertz rental contract only makes an oblique reference to transmitting billing information for tolls and traffic violations to ATS.  In the context of what really occurs, this reference is misleading,” the class action lawsuit said.

Pursuant to the proposed $11 million settlement, Class Members who submit Claim Forms will receive a refund of the improper charges they paid.