Lawsuit Over Avis Refueling Charge Dismissed

Avis Budget Group Inc. won dismissal of a lawsuit by a customer claiming its $5.99-a-gallon refueling charge is illegal, Bloomberg News reports.

The customer, Andrew Ramon, said Avis Budget Rent a Car System Inc. imposed an "unreasonably large" service charge to refuel cars returned with less than full tanks. Ramon didn't elect to prepay for a full tank of gas at a market rate of $2.14 a gallon.

Ramon "not only rejected the prepaid fuel option but agreed to the terms of the refueling service charge, an avoidable fee of $5.99 per gallon which was clearly identified and explained in the agreement," Martini ruled. "Ultimately, plaintiff was charged the precise amount he agreed to under the contract. The court fails to see how this could possibly amount to a breach."

Ramon, of San Antonio, spent $11.42 for the fuel after returning the car with the tank less than full. He sought class-action status for his suit, saying the $3.85 a gallon above the market rate was "pure profit."

Martini rejected Ramon's arguments on several legal grounds, including that the charge violated New Jersey consumer fraud law, according to Bloomberg News.

The complaint "fails to identify or describe any misrepresentations made by Budget with respect to the refueling service charge," Martini wrote in a 13-page opinion.

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