LANSING, Mich. – A rental car company headquartered in Michigan is under investigation after the state attorney general's office and the Better Business Bureau received more than 400 complaints against the company.
Executive Car Rental has 12 locations in Michigan and four in Florida. Complains have come in from 44 states, one Army post office, one Canadian province and one from Germany, according to a news release.
On Friday Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a notice of intended action and a cease-and-disist order to the car rental company for alleged violations of the state's Consumer Protection Act.
Those alleged violations include the following:
- Causing a probability of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the legal rights, obligations, or remedies of a party to a transaction.
- Failing to reveal a material fact, the omission of which tends to mislead or deceive the consumer, and which fact could not reasonably be known by the consumer.
- Failing, in a consumer transaction that is rescinded, canceled, or otherwise terminated in accordance with the terms of an agreement, advertisement, representation, or provision of law, to promptly restore to the person or persons entitled to it a deposit, down payment, or other payment, or in the case of property traded in but not available, the greater of the agreed value or the fair market value of the property, or to cancel within a specified time or an otherwise reasonable time an acquired security interest.
- Making gross discrepancies between the oral representations of the seller and the written agreement covering the same transaction or failure of the other party to the transaction to provide the promised benefits.
- Making a representation of fact or statement of fact material to the transaction such that a person reasonably believes the represented or suggested state of affairs to be other than it actually is.
Some of the complaints alleged that damage deposits of $250 or more were not returned timely or not returned at all.
“Michigan companies have a legal obligation to tell the truth,” Nessel said. “When they don’t, our residents count on us to enforce the law.”
The company had nine complaints in 2017 and that number jumped to 330 in 2018. There are currently 55 pending complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
In 2018, 96 percent of complaints received at the Better Business Bureau against car rental companies were for Executive Car Rental. The company has not responded to an investigation against them since the beginning of January.
Nessel intends to file a lawsuit to seek relief under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act on behalf of affected consumers unless Executive Car Rental responds by Feb. 6.