Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has announced that the owner of two car rental companies in Phoenix must pay $1.85 million for defrauding customers. The verdict was announced by the Arizona Attorney General's Office on Wednesday. The office had sued Dennis Saban, owner of Phoenix Car Rental and Saban's Rent a Car in 2014. In the lawsuit, the Attorney General's Office had received complaints of transmission problems and bad brakes.
After an undercover investigation, the car rental had practiced improperly charging extra fees on consumers. A consumer had claimed in an incident that her car rental had "smelled like vomit and urine, and the backseat was soiled." She said she didn't cause the damage but was charged for it. And when she complained she was called a "f-ing B." Other previous customers have also come out and said they were given unsafe cars and were overcharged with hidden fees. Hidden cameras in three separate car rentals from the company had revealed the mechanics found serious problems and the check engine light blacked out. The Attorney General's Office says their investigators rented a vehicle that was supposed to cost $129 but was charged nearly double.
After a five-week trial, the Judge sided with the Attorney General's Office and consumers and handed down what the office called "one of the largest consumer fraud trial verdicts the Arizona Attorney General's Office has ever obtained." A spokesperson has also announced that nearly $1 million will go to consumer restitution and estimates that nearly 48,000 consumers have been affected. Prosecutors say the car rental companies are now prohibited from inaccurately advertising the condition or rental rates of vehicles, renting an vehicle without regularly scheduled maintenance, altering the odometer and altering or disengaging a vehicle's warning light.