Hertz to pay $168 million to settle vehicle-theft allegations

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Hertz Global Holdings Inc. said Monday it will pay $168 million to settle hundreds of claims stemming from vehicle-theft reporting, which in some cases led to customers facing wrongful arrests.

The car-rental company said that the settlement brings “resolution” to more than 95% of pending theft-reporting claims. Hertz expects to recover a “meaningful portion” of the settlement from insurance, it said.

Shares of Hertz

were down nearly 3% Monday, underperforming the broader equity market slightly.

“As I have said since joining Hertz earlier this year, my intention is to lead a company that puts the customer first. In resolving these claims, we are holding ourselves to that objective,” Chief Executive Stephen Scherr said in a statement.

Scherr, a retired Goldman Sachs executive, became Hertz CEO in February. The company emerged from bankruptcy and subsequently returned to capital markets last year.

A lawsuit earlier this year accused Hertz of keeping faulty inventory records that led some to be stopped by police and held at gunpoint for driving rentals incorrectly reported as stolen.

Shares of Hertz have lost nearly 35% so far this year, compared with losses of around 16% for the S&P 500 index.

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