A judge ruled against Dennis N. Saban, owner of Phoenix Car Rental and Saban's Rent-A-Car, for violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. Saban was ordered to pay $1.85 million for charging customers unlawful fees for car rentals.
The Arizona Attorney General's Office filed the lawsuit against Saban in 2014. Investigators found that though Phoenix Car Rental and Saban's Rent-A-Car advertised rentals for $129 per week, consumers were charged over $250 per week after additional fees and taxes. An undercover agent also found that Saban refused to provide a copy of the rental agreement and threatened the agent with arrest if the vehicle left the Phoenix area.
One rental surcharge was also misrepresented as a county tax by one employee. Investigators also found that one vehicle's odometer did not match its actual mileage, with the odometer displaying 99,840 miles when the actual mileage was 199,840 miles. At the trial, customers testified that Saban had exercised similar practices.
$1 million from the judgment will go toward customers who Saban defrauded from 2009 to 2016. The ruling also prohibits Saban and his rental companies from inaccurately advertising rental rates and conditions of vehicles, changing a vehicle's odometer, and turning off a vehicle's warning light. Rental vehicles are also required to undergo regular maintenance.
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