Cars from Rental Fleet Sold Without Side Curtain Airbags
Bill Kershaw and Stuart Talley of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff in Sacramento, California, have been asked to investigate the fairness of a proposed nationwide settlement class in Missouri State Court against Enterprise Rent-a-Car Company for selling Chevrolet Impalas, Chevrolet Cobalts and Chevrolet Heritage High Roofs without "side curtain airbags.”
It is alleged that Enterprise sold some 60,000 to 70,000 of these vehicles without disclosing to direct purchasers or vehicle wholesalers that the cars did not have "side curtain airbags." These airbags are considered standard equipment on 2006 and 2007 Buick LaCrosse models. Side curtain airbags are viewed to be part of the entire occupant restraing and safety system of these Chevrolet vehicles and are designed to work in conjunction with the other safety components on the cars. Enterprise is alleged to have ordered Chevrolet Impalas, Cobalts, Heritage High Roofs and LaCrosse Buicks without side curtain airbags in order to save money on fleet vehicles that the company planned to use in its rent-a-car business. After using these cars as rental vehicles for several years, Enterprise is alleged to have sold them at auctions to many wholesale car dealers, and also directly to the public.
Mr. Kershaw and Mr. Talley believe that this is fraudulent conduct that is in callous disregard of the safety of consumers who purchased these vehicles, as well as the public at large.
"We believe it is extremely unethical that wholesale and retail dealers who purchased these cars from Enterprise, or from each other, have been defrauded and unknowingly placed in a position to perpetuate a fraud and endanger the lives of their customers and everyone else who share the road with these vehicles,” stated Bill Kershaw.
The settlement in question, which is proposed by two individuals who purchased one of the above referenced cars, outlines that each person who purchased one of these vehicles should receive a $100 voucher, which could be used toward the purchase of another Enterprise car or toward the rental of an Enterprise vehicle during an 18-month period. Only one $100 voucher may be used per family and the vouchers may not be collected together unless more than one car is purchased by the same family. It is proposed that the lawyers for the two plaintiffs receive $1,325,000 for filing the case, doing minimal discovery and negotiating the settlement.
"To offer wronged consumers a $100 voucher as compensation for a $2,500 loss that can't even be used unless victims buy or rent another potentially dangerous Enterprise car seems outrageous."
Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff is investigating this case, along with the Texas firm of Wigington, Rumley and Dunn. They are advised by their experts that consumers, when they trade in their car, are looking at a trade in loss of roughly $2,500 per vehicle, and for Wholesale Dealers a straight loss value at auction of $550 per vehicle.
Stuart Talley added, "The likelihood that any victimized consumer would actually purchase another Enterprise vehicle is remote. The likelihood of a consumer desiring to rent an Enterprise Rent-a-Car is even more remote, given the danger that the rented vehicle might not have side curtain airbags or other important safety features they would come to expect as the industry standard. To offer wronged consumers a $100 voucher as compensation for a $2,500 loss that can't even be used unless victims buy or rent another potentially dangerous Enterprise car seems outrageous."
If you believe you have purchased or rented an Enterprise car that lacked standard safety features, or if you would like more information on the fraudulent and dangerous conduct in this case, please fill out the contact form on this page or call for a free and confidential case evaluation.