Hertz Customer Fumes After Being Billed $277 For 'Refueling' Tesla, Car-Rental Company Says It Will Refund 'Erroneous' Charge (UPDATED)

Editor’s note: This story was updated with Hertz’s statement about reimbursing the customer who rented its EV

Joshua Lee, a Hertz Global Holdings customer, was reportedly charged a $277.39 fee for "refueling" an electric Tesla Model 3 he rented from the company. After much protest, the company has decided to refund the charge, terming it “erroneous.”

What Happened: Lee was taken aback when he was charged an additional $277.39 after returning a rented Tesla Model 3 following a weekend trip to Los Angeles, The Drive reported on Wednesday.

Lee had opted and paid for the "Skip the Pump and Save Time" option when he made the reservation, which allows customers to return their rental cars without refilling the gas tank if the vehicle is powered by gas. When he questioned the charge, Hertz initially insisted it was for refueling the electric Model 3, even though it technically doesn't have a fuel tank to refill.

Further, the user returned the car with 96% battery, the same percentage at which he picked it up. Even if he had returned it at a lower charge level, Lee should not have been charged more than $35, according to Hertz's EV recharging policy.

However, a customer service administrator at Hertz initially refused to adjust or refund the charge, citing the signed rental agreement as proof that Lee was aware of the fuel option added to the contract, the report said.

A Hertz spokesperson told Benzinga on Thursday its customer care team is reaching out to Lee to apologize and the company would also refund “this erroneous charge,” the spokesperson said.

Hertz & EVs: Hertz is looking to remove 30,000 electric vehicles from its fleet this year, citing high repair costs as the driving factor.

As of the end of the first quarter, the company had already sold about 10,000 EVs, Hertz said, on which it incurred vehicle depreciation costs of $195 million.

“Upon completion, we anticipate that the remaining EV fleet will be better aligned with attractive demand for EVs with a priority on our rideshare business,” company COO Justin Keppy said during the company's first-quarter earnings call in April.

For the first quarter, Hertz reported an adjusted loss of $1.28 per share, much higher than the analyst consensus estimate of a loss of 44 cents, owing to high operating costs.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read More: Tesla’s Head Of Product Launches Departs After Feeling EV Giant Took ‘Pound Of Flesh’ Amid Mass Firings: ‘It’s Hard To See The Long Game’

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo: Hertz Corporation

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: NewsTop StoriesTechbenzinga neuroelectric vehiclesEVsHertzmobility
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!