Car Rental Firm Admits Charging Multiple Customers for Broken Windshields

A Phoenix, Ariz. car-rental company has admitted that it defrauded customers by charging them to repair broken windshields, and then did not replace the glass, according to court documents. The company would later rent the vehicles to new consumers without advising them about the pre-existing chips.

Phoenix-based PCR Venture, which operates the Payless Car Rental operation at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, signed a consent decree with the state attorney general’s office, admitting that it would then charge the repairs to the new renters, even after the company knew the damage occurred earlier and repair costs had been assessed against the earlier renters.

The attorney general’s office found more than 80 customers who were charged for damages they did not cause. The company also admitted it charged the customers for the time the vehicle was out of service for repair.

D.V. Auto Center in Phoenix completed the windshield replacement work. The attorney general’s office says that the rental company altered D.V.’s invoices by changing dates, vehicle identification numbers, and repair invoice numbers to commit consumer fraud.

In instances where PCR did not even do the work of repairing the windshields, PCR collected or attempted to collect money from the renter who was in possession of the vehicle at the time the windshield was damaged, and from subsequent renters who had no responsibility for the windshield damage, according to the consent decree.

Through the consent decree, Payless must reimburse all customers for any charges billed, including repair, loss of use of the vehicle, and any administrative fees, unless the company can prove that the damage to the windshield was done during the time that particular renter actually had possession of the vehicle. Payless also agreed not to engage in these practices in the future, according to court documents.

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