May 24, 2024

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Automotive rocks

Five years later, he gets $14,700 bill for rental car |


Avis wants Dominic Changco to spend $14,700 following a person of its rentals gets drinking water injury. But why did it get five years to get the paperwork?

Q: I rented a car in Maui from Alamo in 2017. It rained heavily for one day and the car floor grew to become soaked. All doors and windows had been shut.

I seen drinking water leaking from the vents, indicating possibly defective weatherstripping. Enterprise, which owns Alamo, now claims it salvaged the motor vehicle and the engine won’t start off, even though we drove it there. They want me to shell out $14,700 for the car. Can you enable me get this claim dropped? — Dominic Changco, Salinas, Calif.

A: It’s very unusual for a vehicle rental company to take five many years to method a declare. For that motive by itself, I decided to look into your circumstance.

You need to never ever, ever, shell out for problems to a rental car or truck. Before you lease, make certain that you have ample insurance. You can get coverage by way of your vehicle policy, your credit history card, the motor vehicle rental organization, or on line as a result of a enterprise like But regardless of what you do, never hire a car or truck with out insurance coverage.

Other than the timing, there ended up a number of a lot more unusual things about your situation. You say you drove the vehicle to the Avis lot. But now Avis (via Business) claims that the auto is inoperable.

You also claimed you had the windows and doorways closed, however the drinking water nonetheless arrived into the automobile. If that occurred anywhere else in the entire world, that may have been unlikely. But we’re conversing about Maui, which is a single of the rainiest locations on the planet. Big Bog on Maui is the seventh-wettest spot in the environment.

The true problem is who is responsible for weatherproofing the rental motor vehicle — you or the rental car or truck firm? I would say it is on the car or truck rental company to send out out a motor vehicle that’s roadworthy. But it is a shared duty. It’s also up to the driver to make guaranteed the vehicle is operated safely and thoroughly. I never consider you could have identified that your car or truck couldn’t endure the rain right up until it was way too late.

Another dilemma with your circumstance is that you didn’t have any paperwork. It looks like you had both misplaced it or discarded it, hoping that the Avis assert was in the past. Only it was not.

You could have contacted Company about your situation to locate out why it took so prolonged to get this scenario settled. I checklist the names, numbers and email messages of aBusiness executives/a on my shopper advocacy web site,

I requested Business about your $14,700 monthly bill. A agent acknowledged that a five-year hold out was “a little bit bizarre.”

“Our information indicate that the car or truck in this circumstance sustained flood hurt at a hotel,” the representative said. “The lodge denied coverage, and the client did not have a hurt waiver. There was a refusal to pay back the damages that was documented and then subsequent, there was a series of subsequent follow-up communications among us and the purchaser regarding payment. The consumer has been despatched to collections for non-payment, and I imagine the letter he despatched you is the most the latest letter from collections.”

Company would not drop the declare, but you however have options. You can uncover out if the credit score card you employed to hire the motor vehicle would pay for the injury. Or you can contact your automobile insurance policies to find out if you might be lined. In any situation, this is not the finish of your road.

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at [email protected] or get assist with any consumer trouble by speaking to him at


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