A man whose rental car experience turned into a nightmare says he now has to foot the bill after two people wrecked the vehicle in Monterey Park.
Surveillance video shows the suspects approaching the vehicle before they began breaking the windows. The incident happened back in August.
As it turned out, the driver booked the car through Turo, a sharing platform where vehicle owners rent out their cars.
“It feels like I’m living a nightmare. I feel deceived, I’m scared,” said the driver, who only wanted to be identified as TQ.
He says neither his car insurance nor his credit card will cover the damage.
“I was initially attracted to Turo because of its competitive rates, but I feel like the rates are misleading because they don’t take insurance into account,” TQ added.
The California Department of Insurance states that Turo is not considered a rental company and therefore different rules for insurance coverage apply.
“The main difference is that they are different legal entities and therefore different laws apply to them,” said the ministry’s Tony Cignarale. “It’s a car sharing program. It is defined differently and is therefore handled differently by insurance companies, as well as by a consumer auto loan company, which may have an indemnity obligation attached to it.”
After speaking with investigators, TQ said he had questions about the incident and feared it could be a case of fraud on the part of the vehicle owner.
In his opinion, the costs of the damage are excessive. Turo sent an email saying it could be held liable for $35,000.
“I’m shocked. I can’t believe this happened. I can’t believe Turo allowed this to happen,” TQ added.
In a statement to Eyewitness News, Turo said in part: “Our teams have been working with local police to investigate this unfortunate incident…The guest had opted out of a protection plan and was therefore responsible for the damage. The guest could have “limited his responsibilities by choosing a protection plan.”
“I think if it had been clearer and more transparent up front, I would have taken out insurance. I consider myself quite travel-savvy, and if this could happen to me, I think it could happen to anyone,” says TQ.