My rental car is a “gasoline bomb” — am I entitled to a refund?

Nothing extraordinary happened when Paul Candia rented a car from Budget in New York recently. There’s no frivolous damage claim, no extra fee, not even a rude employee to complain about.

But Candia wants a full refund. The reason? Halfway through the rental, he received a message from the rental agency that his vehicle had been recalled, and that he needed to change cars immediately.

“It was a terrible experience,” he says.

Terrible enough to merit a full refund? Absolutely, he says.

After receiving a voice-mail message, he tried to contact Budget for clarification. That’s when the problems started.

I called Randy who was in Costa Rica who gave me no help. Lindsay in Kansas gave me no help, either. Ryan in Dallas finally explained to me that there was a problem with the car and it was dangerous to drive. He said there was a problem where the gas line was welded to the gas tank.

He said we would be OK as long as we were not in an accident.

Oh, that’s reassuring.

What followed was a confusing back-and-forth, with Candia trying to make arrangements to return the car and still make all of his appointments. He eventually returned the vehicle to a Manhattan location, but ran up an extra $12 in cab fare.

But that’s not all.

My wife and I suffered extreme anxiety during this ordeal as we felt we were driving a gasoline bomb that could explode at any time — accident or not.

We were extremely upset from the time we found out about the recall until the time we turned the car in to Budget.

My wife and I suffered extreme anxiety during this entire ordeal and would like the entire bill of $207 plus $12 for the cab ride to our hotel reimbursed immediately.

Budget hasn’t refunded the money. Candia wants me to help him get one.

Here are a few relevant details: The vehicle in question is a 2012 Chevy Cruze. The recall affected nearly half a million cars. Here are a few details from GM.

I haven’t said much about the recall controversy, mostly because it’s a non-issue for readers of this site. I respond to complaints, and since no one has complained about driving a recalled car, I haven’t really had a horse in this race.

Interestingly, while Budget’s position on recalled cars may not sit well with some consumer advocates, it is, in practice, pretty responsive when it comes to recalls. Earlier this year, Avis Budget Group removed 10,000 Ford Focus models from its fleet after a recall, for example.

Switching vehicles was a hassle for the Candias, no question about it. Also, Budget could have handled his incoming calls better by briefing its agents on the recalls or providing him with a dedicated phone number for customers affected by the recall. It might have also handled the transfer better by agreeing to cover some of his costs.

Budget couldn’t have known that its Chevy Cruze vehicles were about to be recalled, and they did the right thing by phoning Candia immediately and arranging a switch.

In the end, Candia and his wife got what they paid for: a rental car. But aren’t they entitled to something for the anxiety and hassle? Certainly, an apology would be a good start. Those are free. A voucher would be good too, but Budget isn’t really required to do anything beyond giving this customer a functioning car.

Or is it?

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • Jesse Robertson

    The agent said they would be fine unless they are in an accident. You are unsafe in any car if you are going to get in an accident, so that shouldn’t cause extreme anxiety. Budget probably legally needs to tell everyone to return their car right away but I’m sure most people disregard the calls and return their rental cars when they were originally supposed to. I would like to know how soon after they got the call did they return it but right now I don’t think you should mediate.

  • Fly, Icarus, Fly

    The recall could’ve happened to anyone, including buyers of the car. If the OP chose to return it (which is normal but I probably wouldn’t have…), I think Budget should comp them one free day for the hassle. 

  • Cybrsk8r

    Umm, I don’t know why anyone would do that.  You could open yourself up to a huge damage claim.  In this example, if you were rear-ended and the fuel line ruptured and caused a fire, an insurance company might try to deny a claim based on your negligence in not returning the car when you were instructed to do so.

  • Carver Clark Farrow II

    I don’t get the drama.  If driving a “gasoline bomb” was causing them extreme anxiety, they should have returned the car to the nearest company owned Budget and gotten another car.  Let the budget clerks figure out how to transfer the rental.

  • LadyLightTravel

    Most people don’t know about recalls, or cars in genral.  It would be quite difficult for a normal person to determine the level of risk for this.  Since that is the case it would be wise to assume worst case – undrivable.

    If Budget was calling back the car then it was up to them to go get it.  They could have driven a replacement vechicle out to them (a la Enterprise) and then taken the flawed car back.  They shouldn’t put the burden of the time or the risk on the customer.

    Budget absolutely owes them something because they didn’t provide a safe working vehicle.   They made a bad situation worse by being disorganized (shouldn’t they have protocols in place for something like this?)  No, Budget couldn’t have known the car was flawed at the time of the rental, but unknown unknowns are the cost of doing business.  Don’t put that cost on the customer.

    I think Budget needs to comp them a couple of days.

  • LadyLightTravel

    I’d say your logic is flawed.  Cars are designed to protect occupants in case of an accident.  But flawed cars can absolutely make a bad situation worse.  Remember the Ford Pinto?  A ruptured fuel line is a scary and dangerous thing.

  • backprop

     I agree about comps – a day or two – but not a full refund.

  • Elmo Clarity

    At minimum, Budget should pay the cab fair involved in returning the car.  I do agree they should be comped something for the problems in returning the vehicle.  From what I had seen in the news, GM advised people to stop driving those cars immediately.  Budget should have sent someone out to them with the new car, not required them to drive the car in after GM had said not to drive the car at all.

  • Chris_In_NC

    Geez Louise, My sympathy for Candia vaporized when I hit the “suffered extreme anxiety” part of the article.


    Wait a second. SO they rented a car that was deemed unsafe to drive. THEY had to bring it back on their time right?

    Now, if the renter damages a car, the rental company can bill you for the time they can not rent the car right? I think their time is worth AT LEAST a FULL refund if not much more.

    YES you should mediate this one!

  • john4868

    Simple Question. If the OP was that concerned, why call multiple times instead of driving to the nearest Budget to exchange the vehicle? He spent more time on the phone than it would have taken, in normal circumstances, to drive to the nearest office and pick up a new car.

    Cars get recalled. It happens. In this case Budget called them and asked them to return the vehicle immediately which it what you would expect Budget to do. The recall was initiated by GM but it was not a “DO NOT DRIVE” recall like they issued on the Trailblazer right after it launched. In fact, it was almost a month before dealers started doing the repair work.

    BTW… According to the recall press release, there were no fires or accidents due to the potentially missing welds.

  • sdir

    I think Budget should refund the cab fare and maybe, MAYBE refund one day’s rental, but I feel the LW is being overly dramatic.  Why not sue the manufacturer, since they’re the ones who caused this?  Budget was willing to immediately replace their rental, of which Budget was already footing the cost. And it sounds like they didn’t even have to go back to the original location, Budget was willing to work with them to get a replacement. 

    Demanding a full refund and claiming extreme anxiety is being greedy and dramatic. 

  • emanon256

    Wow, they had so much anxiety over having to swap a rental car that they want it for free?  I haven’t read anyone else’s response yet or voted yet, but either way, I am a strong no.  Don’t mediate.
    I think it’s great that the car rental company reached out to them to try and arrange a swap the car; that is going above and beyond in my book.  I am actually surprised they did just wait until the car was returned and then deal with the recall, the recall bulletin says the cars just need to be inspected, and if needed will be repaired.  The bulletin also says that the fuel tank could come loose in a crash, and if it comes loose it could possibly leak, and should it leak, and the leaked fuel comes in contact with an ignition source, it could result in a fire.  That does not mean in any certain terms their car is about to blow up.
    Also, why did they not just call a local rental location directly to make arrangements?  Why bother calling the 1-800-number?  It’s much easier to deal with the actual locations, so that’s my advice to them should this happen again, just call the local number.  But that’s neither here nor there.  Car recalls happen all the time and I am not even going to bother to quote the OPs crazy drama filled shenanigans.  Had they been reasonable, I would have said they should have the cab fare reimbursed, but reading about how they acted, I don’t trust that they were using good judgment, and therefore don’t know if the cab fare was reasonable.  After all, they are dropping off a car and picking up a car, why pay for a cab?  Perhaps if they had cited calmly, and simply made arrangements to swap it, they would have no incurred any cab fees. 

  • emanon256

    I could not agree more!

  • lost_in_travel

    It sounds to me like the voice mail message was not clear, so they called but did not get a straight answer.  Why would anyone expect the local agent to have better information than the phone customer service who called them?? 

    I think Budget should have arranged to drive to them with a new car and make the exchange not expect them to come to Budget – so they are entitled to something for the bother.  If it were I and I was in Manahttan, that car would have been parked in the garage waiting for Budget to come get it while I took cabs to all of my appointments.  Then we could be arguing about my loss of use, the cab fares and the parking fee, but I would not have had any anxiety attacks.  Just driving in NYC can be anxiety provoking enough for some people, so I can understand their worry, but feeling that way, they should have stopped driving.

    I rented a car that had a recall announced while I had it and was not notified until I returned the car (only a weekend, not a long rental).  Apparently there was a problem with some of the wheel bolts and the wheel could fall off.  Nice problem – fortunately did not happen to me.

  • TonyA_says

    Besides that, they were not driving a Molotov cocktail. Too much exaggeration on this one.

  • TonyA_says

    All our 3 vehicles got recalls – Tahoe, Outback and Prius. Same with some appliances and gadgets we accumulated over the years. Not worried we are still alive.

  • MarkKelling

    So they returned the car and had to pay for a cab from the return location to wherever they went.  Why would they be owed that?  Wouldn’t that be what they had to do anyway?  

    I agree that it would have been nice if the rental company would have agreed to meet them somewhere at their convenience to swap the vehicle if it was that difficult for the OP to drive to the nearest rental office.  I just don’t understand why it was that difficult for the OP to drop by one of the office in the New York city area.  There are at least 10.   

    Sounds like a whiner who wants something for nothing.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Ditto this. The drama queen factor is strong with this one!

  • oceankitten

    Maybe I’m just blase at this point, but nearly every car I have ever owned has been recalled at some point or another for some reason or another.  I watch a lot of news and never heard of any Cruzes randomly exploding, so I think I would have just returned the car at MY convenience and not panicked about it…even if that was at the end of my rental contract.

  • Carver Clark Farrow II

    A quick search shows 24 budget location in the general area  (including NJ).  Of the 24 budget locations 17 offer pick up service.  I still don’t get all the drama. Drive the car to the nearest location; park the car in a garage and demand pick up service; do something proactive.  But continuing to drive a car that apparently terrified him is to abdicate all responsibility in this.

    This entire affair should have taken just a couple hours of his time, depending on the traffic.

    I wonder what the OP would have done if his own personal car had  gotten a recall notice

  • MikeInCtown

    Agree completely! Suffered sever anxiety.. Come on…. You were told to return a car because of a recall. So return it and get on with your life. budget should have refunded the $12 for cab far, but beyond that maybe a coupon or something for a discount on the next rental… cars get recalled a lot for various safety reasons and normally they get taken care of as parts and stock comes in, not all in one day. I bet these people complain when the newspaper boy doesn’t throw the paper far enough up the driveway.

  • emanon256

    I assume that is addressed to me as I was the only one who said they should call the local agent.  I meant they should call the local agent to arrange the swap.  The 1-800-number just gets a general call center, they can’t really arrange for the swap there.  They pretty much just know how to make reservations.

  • S363

    This reminds me of when my kids were little and would come running to me all upset, saying “Daddy, I almost fell down”, to which I would reply “Wow, that must have almost hurt”.

    That being said, Budget should certainly compensate them for their out-of-pocket expenses and any lost rental time.

  • EvilEmpryss

    OMG, what whiners.  Anxiety?  That is the go-to complaint for people who have no legitimate complaints to make.  People need to grow up and stop overreacting to every little thing and expecting the world compensate them (and over compensate them) for what was, in the end, a minor inconvenience.

    Budget notified them quickly of a problem with their car and traded it out for a safer one as soon as the renter brought it back.  It would have been nice of Budget to give them a day off the rental fees or an upgrade for the inconvenience, but a full refund?   Not even if it had been my rental with me hauling my husband and two small kids across country.

    Don’t mediate this one.  It’s a waste of your time.  There are people out there who have had *real* problems with their travel. If Paul has anxiety issues that severe, he needs to talk to a mental health professional, not a consumer advocate.

  • jgb123

    I rec’d a recall notice last week for my Chevy Cruze.  Letter apoligized for the inconvience.  No anxiety on my part, no stress, just bring the car in to be fixed.
    Why should a car renter expect anything special.  It’s not the rental company recalling the car, it’s the manufacurer.  Paul should have gone to the nearest Budget & exchanged cars.  The way I read it, he “returned” the car, did not exchange it.  It was his choice to take a cab to/from wherever.
    What is there to mediate?

  • Bernard Rappoport

    I have the GM Canada letter in front of me, as a 2012 Cruze owner. It reads “to limit any possible inconvenience, we recommend that you contact your Chevrolet dealer as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for this repair”.  Nowhere does it say to stop driving immediately.  Budget was just trying to cover their rear in case anything happened…so they should have been the ones to have arranged the exchange.  When they called the OP, they should have had a plan in place, but they were disorganized and left it all on the OP.  2 days rental reduction (if a weekly rate, then reduce the weekly rate by what 2 days individually would cost…don’t pro-rate it as 2/7 reduced), and pay for the taxi.  If Enterprise can do a pick-up, so can Avis Budget Group.  Maybe he should have simply driven it to their nearby NJ HQ, left it in the lot, and walked in to have the CEO look after him

  • Adam_The_Man

    Guess what?  I don’t think this one is a scam!  I do think Chris should mediate. If Budget rents a faulty car, they need to pick it up and replace it immediately.  Instead budget gave them the run-a-round and made it such a hassle and scared them by telling them it was dangerous to drive.

    I think budget should pay the person for the amount of time they spent dealing with this.  Whatever the person makes, should be figured out as an hourly rate, and they should be paid for the number of hours they spent dealign will all this hassle.  Then as a courtesy Budgit should also reimburse the rental cost and cab fee in full.

  • User921394932

    They should have given them the option to have one of their own employees drive a replacement car to them or let them drive it in, they should get something for their trouble, but not a full refund cuz of “anxiety”.

  • Terri Lundberg

    Budget could have handled it better.  However, they shouldn’t have to pay because they became “anxious”.  Anxiety?  Really?  Sounds like they’re trying to turn a mere inconvenience into a payday.  I full refund; absolutely not.  A voucher for a free rental day is more appropriate.  I’m still shaking my head that they’re even trying to claim they should be compensated for their weak mental fortitude, and this isn’t even a situation in which you need fortitude. Sounds like they need Xanax and to get over themselves.

  • Alan Gore

    Recalls are usually not emergency situations. The owner is just advised to bring the car in when he can for updates. But I remember this particular one: the defect was deemed to be si dangerous that owners were advised to immediately stop driving this model and to call their dealers for pickup. This is why rental drivers had to be notified in the middle of their rental periods. UNder ordinary circumstances, the renters need never have been aware of the recall.

    The customer should get reimbursement for all expenses in this case.

  • l2y2

    Cars have recalls all the time. It is not Budget’s fault and they contacted the customer right away. They can’t track down every single car out there and physically bring it back. It sounds like the customer had many opportunities to return the car if they were that worried about it. It appears they chose to make appointments instead. I think the customer and his wife created their own extreme anxiety. If Budget finds itself inclined, it would be nice for them to refund the $12 in cab fare, but not necessary. I think a full refund is being greedy.

  • Michelle Norton

    I honestly think that Budget should have come and picked the car up where it was and delivered a replacement car – given the severity of this particular recall.  If it were a standard recall, then I would say don’t bother.

  • TonyA_says

    Emanon, wonder why he didn’t have any anxiety driving in Manhattan or the other boroughs to make his “appointments”. That alone can drive one nuts (not considering the parking fees).

  • ExplorationTravMag

    They had me until I read, “…extreme anxiety…” and…  We’re walking, we’re walking, we’re walking.

    If the car caused this SO much distress, why did they hang on to it?  Also, as with so many situations in life, nothing had changed with the car and it was exactly the same car after they got the call.  The only thing that had changed was what they knew about it.

    I say a big, fat NO to this mediation.  The OP is a delicate flower who should really not take vacations (or business trips, or go to their mailbox unaided) if they allow something like this to cause them “extreme anxiety” while traveling.

  • TonyA_says

    You could have guessed that from the $12 cab fare in Manhattan. That’s not going to take you far in our neck of the woods :-)

  • emanon256

    I was wondering that as well actually. What I was really wondering is why would anyone rent a car when in Manhattan? I was born and raised just nearby, went in all the time, and then lived there for many years. I can’t see why anyone would ever need a car. It’s actually a burden to have car there. I had to drive up to a wedding once and rented a car the night before so I could get an early start, it was actually a hassle to find parking near my apartment, and then driving there is just not fun. If he had so many appointment what did he do, drive to each, pay the $30 minimum parking fee at each, it would have been cheaper to just cab it everywhere given the cost he was paying for parking. I still prefer the subway.

  • $16635417

    Sounds like the recall is urgent enough for the customer to return the car at their earliest convenience, but not urgent enough to stop driving and have Budget arrange for a tow and a replacement car.

    I think Budget handled it right. I don’t see a reason to mediate. It would also be interesting to hear the message to know exactly why a call back for clarification was needed.

  • emanon256

    Here is the bulletin:




  • KarlaKatz

    Something similar happened to me, and the folks at Budget of Kaua’i were fantastic about bringing a different car to me, at my island rental.  No hassles, no problems, no extra charges.  In fact, they delivered a different car with a full tank of gas, and didn’t charge me for the 1/2 tank of gas I’d used in the car they collected from me.  Outstanding service from these folks!  Perhaps the OP should have asked that the agency deliver a car to him, at their inconvenience, not his.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Absolutely, Tony.  Sounds to me like someone read a Grisham novel before they wrote this letter.

  • KarlaKatz

    @emanon256: Amen to that statement about NOT owning a car in Manhattan!  Of all the folks/friends I know in Manhattan, only 1 owns a car, and that only leaves the garage for sojourns to his country home on weekends.

  • TonyA_says

    IMO 90%++ of the people here in Stamford CT probably work in NYC. Most use the train. But some drive in for mostly 2 reasons:
    (a) you are a person who works odd hours and the train schedule is no good or you,
    (b) you need to go to the other boroughs (or L.I.) and there is no direct train to them since you will need to go to Grand Central first.
    But for someone to drive from one appointment to another in the city while staying in a HOTEL there, that’s pretty odd. He’d pay hotel parking plus parking in all his “appointments”. If he tried to find street parking, he won’t make his appointments :-)

  • MikeInCtown

    Sorry, but the number of vehicles recalled or should I say needing to be checked is a relatively small number. Also, the recall was for vehicles for a “posssible” missing weld, meaning the car may have been perfectly fine. -From what I have found on Google, about 250 cars were discovered to have possible flaws and they issued a recall to 53k. So the number of vehicles that were actually flawed was a very small number.

    a couple days comp? no way…

  • emanon256

    When I lived in Westchester it was the same, 90%++ took the train. I have a friend who has situation (C). His wife gets free parking paid for by her employer, so they drive in together, and he takes a subway the rest of the way.

    Maybe the OP changed their plans? They weren’t in the City initially and then when they got there they realized they didn’t need the car and that’s why they simply returned it at that point rather than swapping it? I’m just speculating though.

  • Joe Farrell

    Talk about overly dramatic – where do you find these folks?  

    If you want to be a journalist you need to start exercising some editorial judgment with a wtf sense when people say these things – 

    I don’t think I’ve had a single story the last month that has not had a bridezilla or some overly dramatic family who just need to deal with it.  

    Chris – c’mon, seriously – the words people use are just over the top – 

  • Joe Farrell

    if the recall of a car can cause them ‘extreme anxiety’ they should never leave the house – just driving on the roadways is probably just about all that they can take . . . 

  • TonyA_says

    Yeah I was thinking that, too. Must have regretted getting a rental and driving IN Manhattan. Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons people live in Manhattan is they don’t need to own or drive a car.

  • emanon256

    There was actually a final jeopardy question a week or two ago about what US state had the fewest number of licensed drivers. The answer was New York because in the city, most people don’t need a car. I really miss it, when I had an apartment in Manhattan I could get almost anything I needed on foot. Groceries, doctors visit, haircut, house stuff, you name it. I could get to work by subway in 20min (I had to walk a few long blocks). And when I wanted to visit family, a quick jaunt to Penn Station by subway and then the train (they all live on Long Island now). I miss living there and I miss not having to drive.

  • TonyA_says

     LOL, we were watching that show.

    I almost wanted to guess Florida due to the number of New Yorkers there :-)

  • TonyA_says

    IMO, groceries not too many. That’s the down side. However there is always Chinatown and Queens. Heaven.

  • TonyA_says

     If Stress Free is what they need, then avoid driving in Manhattan.

  • LadyLightTravel

    And how do you know that yours was NOT one of the bad ones? The consequences are too high to ignore the risk, even if the probability is low.

  • Helio

    He is asking a $12 refund for the cab.  I believe it was an expense he was going to incur anyway…

  • LadyLightTravel

    There are different levels of recalls. Some are far worse than others. You can’t treat them all equally. Since the renter didn’t have all the information they had to assign a higher risk to it.

  • SooZeeeQ

    Why ask for clarification?

    Take the car in and exchange it.

    A lot of the larger rental agencys have off-site locations and in hotels, and I am willing to bet there are quite a few in New York.

    $12 for a cab ride here in San Diego gets me 2.5 miles to the airport, so in New York, he either got a good deal or went just a few blocks, and they could have walked.

  • kittymocha

    I just rented a Cruze from Budget in AZ the first weekend of July.  Nothing was told to me about a recall and nothing happened.  Maybe my specific car had been taken care of under the recall but if they had contacted me, I would have just returned the car and switched to another.  We’ve all had recalls with our personal cars and take care of it.  Maybe refund them the $12 but not the whole rental cost!

  • Unegen

    Don’t mediate this one.  This guy is way, way overreacting.

    Here’s what should have happened:  He should have returned the car to the nearest Budget location immediately.  Budget should have given him a new car, possibly an upgrade to make up for the inconvenience.  That’s all.

    That didn’t happen, but not because of anything Budget did.  This guy is just being a drama queen.

    And, please, $12 cab fare in Manhattan?  That’s like, two blocks, right?  :)

  • emanon256

    I did guess Florida thinking golf carts and retirees.

  • emanon256

    I was lucky, I lived right across the street from a Whole Foods, and there was another great locally owned full grocery store a block away. But in many areas, a full grocery store is pretty far.

  • IGoEverywhere

    When you travel, you have to expect little snafu’s. They claim that their lives were exdagered, but probably not! Recalls are recalls and, I’ve had a few, but, I don’t stop driving in the middle of the turnpike and go screaming away from the car. Budget should offer an apology from their very stupid and uninformed agents, and that is it.

  • emanon256

    In light traffic that will get you almost 4.5 miles.
    $2.50 flag fee and then $0.40 per 1/5 mile or $0.40 per minute in slow/stopped traffic.  NY Taxis are pretty reasonable.

  • lost_in_travel

    Sorry – my tone was harsher than I meant it to be.  I assume that recalls are organized at a corporate level so a plan would be in place there.  ASSUME  is a very bad word.

  • KaraJones

    I almost fell down laughing at that!  : D

  • lost_in_travel

    I agree that recalls are very common, but my most recent one suggested that a battery cable might have an issue and recommended that I park the car outdoors until I had it checked out.  Guess the company did not want to pay for my garage if the car burst into flames.

  • KarlaKatz

     You guys are making me long for  my years in Manhattan… le sigh.  Walked or took the subway for everything… hair, food, friends, great bars :-)

  • AAmerican1

     If he was staying in a Manhatten hotel he was paying a minimum of $30 a day to park the car so what’s a $12 cab ride? A savings of $18 bucks. Nobody rents a car in NYC and if he was in New Jersey why drive into the City to return the car when you can take it to Newark?  I would not  mediate. this.

  • emanon256

    I didn’t think you were harsh. If I’m not mistaken most of the locations are actually private franchises and the 800-number mainly handles reservation. I would also assume they have some plan in place, but I seriously doubt the reservations agents are kept in the loop, and even if they are, they aren’t paid enough to care.

  • Donna Caruso

    If I were that anxious (suffered extreme anxiety) about that car exploding, I would have left it right where it was and demanded Budget come get it & bring me a new rental while they were at it. Why get back into a car which may or may not explode!? 

  • Dave Lieberman

    Give them their $12 cab fare and maybe a goodwill comp day, but no… no refunds.

  • pauletteb

    Why does Chris continue to waste his time on totally undeserving OPs? There are plenty of people with VALID complaints!

  • Dick Jordan

    How long did the “back and forth” about arranging to replace the originally rented car with a new one? Who was responsible for any delay (if more than a few hours/day) in swapping out the car, Budget or the customer? Without those facts, it’s impossible to determine whether the customer should have received additional compensation.  But in any event, it would have made good sense on Budget’s part to give him a voucher for a future rental

  • flutiefan

    i was with you until “stupid and uninformed agents”… was that name-calling really necessary? you seem to pull those cards out a lot.

  • Sonya

    Take a chill pill. Are these people so oblivious to auto recalls that they really expected their car to explode?  This is no one to blame but the ridiculous legal system that enabled consumer to sue to hell out of companies. It is all precautionary. If they are so fearful, they can live in a bubble in the mountain with doors that can deter atomic bombs.

  • Extramail

    The best idea I’ve read is that budget should have done the work of swapping out cars. I’d be curious as to how other companies handled this recall.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Anxiety? Anxiety is sitting in a crappy airport waiting on a delayed flight with no dependable wifi!!! OMG!!! Do they expect me to read a book or something!!??!??

    Therefore, due to my anxiety…

    I demand a full refund!!!
    And therapist bills!!!
    And a steak dinner!!!
    And a Dos Equis!! Make it cold! I hate warm beer!!!


  • Raven_Altosk

    Also, for some lullz:

  • Sadie_Cee

    If the car is too dangerous to be driven due to a defect in its manufacture, it should not be driven. Period.

    Earlier this week, Ford recalled its 2013 Escape autos due to danger of fire igniting in the engine.  Ford advised owners not to drive the car.  Dealers were instructed by Ford to pick up the cars and to issue loaners to drivers.  That, to me, is responsible behaviour.

    One can only wonder why GM and Budget did not do something similar.  

    In one of his conversations with Budget, the OP should have told them that he was abandoning the car, given them its location, locked the car and sought another rental.  Inconvenient and possibly in violation of the contract, but his safety takes precedence over everything else.

    BTW has anyone been keeping count of the number of recalls by auto manufacturers over their 2012 and 2013 lines?  What is going on? 


  • Wrona

    Hmm, is this your current life? ;)

  • Spysea

    “My wife and I suffered extreme anxiety” blah blah…….. Chris move on to something that really needs your expertise.

  • Sadie_Cee

    You’ve got it.  We don’t know if the car we are driving is one of the flawed ones.  We should not be faulted for erring on the side of caution and refusing to drive the car.
    Ford recalled a car of mine some years ago. I cannot now remember the exact reason, but I ignored the recall notice.  Within a short time both Ford and the dealer were contacting me repeatedly.  I yielded and took the car in.  Ford has learned lessons since the Pinto fiasco.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Pretty much, yeah. LOL!

  • Jeremy

     Light traffic in Manhattan?  Surely you jest!

  • emanon256

    Midnight to 4am on a weeknight. Or sometimes you just hit the lights right.

    My home-work commute was 2.5 miles when I lived there. The few times I took a cab, I rarely paid over $10 and that was including the tip.

  • Elmo Clarity

    There is a big difference between you being the owner of the car and able to deal with it “after work”.  But a person renting doesn’t have the luxury of down time while in a strange city on business.  If in the middle of a business trip you get notice that the car you are driving my be unsafe and are told to exchange it immediately as the OP indicated, I can see where it could cause a higher level of stress.  However, I agree with a lot of the other comments made here.  I think the OP is overplaying the “stress” to try to get more compensation that he deserves.  I also agree with a few of the other comments that Budget did not handle the exchange very well and they should get something for the hassle.

  • JenniferFinger

    Yes, it was a hassle, but the point was to make sure he got a safe car. Budget could have done better to make sure its agents were up to speed and not jerked him around on the phone, but I don’t think that entitles Candia to a refund. It might entitle him to the difference between the cost of his replacement car and the original car at most.

  • andrelot

    Let’s compare the situation with air transport. Suppose FAA and Boeing issues a directive to replace some component of the entire 777 fleet, because they can cause an accident although the risk is not enough to ground all planes.

    Would such passengers be entitled to refund for “anxiety”?

    What the OP is indirectly implying (pun intended) is that Budget should rather not have told them of the recall and stayed quietly until they returned the car.

    While I do have many issues with the state of car rental industry, this is clearly and example of snowflakes trying to “game the system”.

  • Bill___A

    It isn’t that hard to change out a rental car and you have to be prepared for those eventualities. Most car rental places at least have an airport location which is open late, so it needn’t interfere with appointments.
    Although I deal primarily with Hertz, Budget is a reputable company which I’ve dealt with several times over the past few years, including just in May.
    If they are scared and terrified about the “gas bomb”, they should just stay off the roads. There are many many risks.