AG reaches settlement with Michigan car rental company

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News
Attorney General Dana Nessel will hold a  press conference today to update media on her investigation into Michigan’s seven dioceses.

The Michigan Attorney General's Office has reached a settlement agreement with a Metro Detroit-based rental car company involving complaints about damage deposits and claims of misleading customers.

The $39,500 settlement announced Thursday resolves an investigation into Executive Car Rental's alleged violations of the state Consumer Protection Act, including several complaints related to at least $250 in damage deposits not being returned in a timely manner.

The agreement sets several compliance measures for the company, including banning the collection of security deposits on rentals and ensuring that renters at Executive Car Rental's Michigan locations can inspect vehicles to note any pre-existing damages.

“Businesses have an obligation to follow our consumer protection laws if they want to do business here,” said state Attorney General Dana Nessel. “I’m thankful our office was able to reach an agreement on behalf of Michigan consumers that provides relief to consumers and corrects the company’s poor business practices.”

Her department and the Better Business Bureau had fielded more than 400 complaints against the company from 44 states, a Canadian province and Germany, officials said.

The settlement will be used to reimburse 55 consumers and department investigation costs, the Attorney General's Office said.

Most of the complaints to the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division involved the Romulus location, which serves Detroit Metro Airport travelers.

Nessel’s office interviewed several complainants and gathered documentation that led to a notice of intended action. 

As part of the agreement, Executive Car Rental is required to refund security deposits paid by affected consumers within 30 days. If they fail to do so, consumers are entitled to two times the amount of the original deposit.