The case includes 230 Hertz customers, but there could be upward of 8,000 car renters affected.

The case includes 230 Hertz customers, but there could be upward of 8,000 car renters affected.

Photo via Enjosmith/Flickr

A Delaware bankruptcy court judge has ruled that Hertz will need to make public thousands of documents that allegedly claim customers rented its vehicles and later stole them, according to multiple news sources.

The case represented 230 Hertz customers who claim they were wrongly arrested, according to a report by MSN. Hertz accused these customers of theft and then informed local police that these customers committed a crime. These customers were then arrested. There could be as many as 8,000 customers who were wrongly accused of stealing Hertz vehicles.

It seems that these cases were mostly mistakes by Hertz’s computer system when it couldn’t physically locate a car, according to MSN.

CBS News launched an investigation looking at the large number of Hertz customers who said they were falsely arrested.

Drew Seaser is one of the claimants who talked to CBS News. While going through customs at the airport, he found out that he had a warrant out for his arrest in Georgia. Hertz had claimed that he stole a vehicle at a rental location in Georgia in November, but Seaser said that he’s never been to Georgia and never rented a vehicle from Hertz. Seaser spent 24 hours in jail before his lawyer was able to show proof that he was in Colorado the day that Hertz said the car was stolen.

"Of the more than 25 million rental transactions by Hertz in the United States per year, 0.014% fall into the rare situation where vehicles are reported to the authorities after exhaustive attempts to reach the customer," Hertz responded in a statement to CBS News after the court ruling. 

That means Hertz has reported an average of 3,500 customers for auto thefts each year, according to CBS News. The number of those reports (that Hertz admits as inaccurate) hasn’t been revealed yet but is included in the judge’s unsealing order.

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