NBC 7 Responds Helps A Carmel Valley Woman With Rental Car Troubles - NBC 7 San Diego
NBC 7 Responds

NBC 7 Responds

Consumer Investigative Unit

NBC 7 Responds Helps A Carmel Valley Woman With Rental Car Troubles

Rental car company refused to pay for her tow truck, that’s when she contacted NBC 7 Responds

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    NBC 7 Responds Solves Car Renter's Up Hill Battle

    A woman became stranded on the grapevine in her rental car and Hertz wasn't much help. So, NBC 7 Responds' Consumer Bob jumped in the driver's seat. (Published Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019)

    Debra Coleman rented an SUV from Hertz Car Rentals to pick up her daughter from college in Fresno. The end of the school year meant Coleman’s daughter was moving back home for the summer and they needed a big car.

    She went to Hertz where she’s a preferred member.

    To be safe, Coleman bought the extra insurance and roadside assistance.

    During her drive back to San Diego while climbing up the Grapevine on Interstate 5, Coleman heard a noise from the engine.

    “We were in the mountains on the Grapevine and the car made a loud noise and then the message came up on the dashboard that there was no power,” said Coleman. “I couldn't accelerate and we were on the freeway. Now it was the middle of the night, it was raining and we were in the mountains.”

    Coleman managed to coast the car to a nearby exit. She later found out she was 51 miles away and an hour drive from the nearest Hertz location.

    She immediately called Hertz roadside assistance and explained the situation.

    “The person on the phone said we will not come get you. I was like I have roadside assistance and I have insurance. They said I needed to drive the car to the nearest Hertz. I told them that I was in the middle of the mountains. The car will not speed up,” said Coleman. “I can't even go fast enough to get on the freeway.”

    Sitting in a parking lot, Coleman called Hertz numerous times for assistance.

    She said a Hertz employee told her to get the car towed and the company would reimburse her.

    Coleman said she paid nearly $500 for a tow truck to take them to the nearest Hertz location. She and her daughter returned to San Diego at 4 a.m. the following morning.

    Coleman called Hertz to get her money back.

    But she said the company declined to pay, telling her that she should have driven the car to Hertz as stated in the rental policy.

    That’s when Coleman contacted NBC 7 Responds for help.

    We reached out to the company. A week later, Coleman received a call from Hertz saying they would reimburse her for the money spent on the tow truck.

    “I'm so grateful to you guys for helping me because I would have never gotten the money back. I don't have money like that to just throw away.”