Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Because you signed the contract, you are liable for what happened to the car and for the car being held for so long. Now, if the police damaged the car in their search and you are being charged with it or if the search was illegal, then you have a case to sue the police department to make them liable to pay for whatever you are liable under contract to Avis to pay.
This type of case is a bit more complicated than your simple small claims suit, you need to consider engaging a local attorney to sue the police department if there was an illegal search or for the damage they did to the car that was not repaired by them.
Unfortunately, other than pursuing the police, there are no consumer laws that protect you if you signed the contract for the rental car.
Thank you for your reply.
As I said, you have a case against AVIS, not the police, if you prove the weapons were not your friend or your weapons and AVIS knew they were in the car or should have found them on a reasonable inspection. But proving that Avis knew they were in the car would be the problem. Anyone could have put them there, a previous renter, and if Avis did not know they were there, you could not hold them liable under liability law
Thank you for your reply.You have NOT said anything that would show any evidence that Avis knew or should have known weapons were in the car. So, absent showing Avis knew the weapons were in the car you have no claim against them. You do have a case against Avis if you can prove that had they reasonably cleaned the car they should have found the weapons, but again nothing you said above gives that indication as you said they were hidden. If they were hidden, then avis is not liable to you, which is what I said in my first answer if you re-read it.
That is not true. You are way oversimplifying the law. The rental company IS NOT just liable for everything that happens with the car. So just because it "blows up" as you put it does not make them liable for it blowing up. You have to prove they did something that caused it to blow up (lack of proper care or maintenance etc). Similarly here under legal theories of liability, you have to prove that they knew or should have reasonably found the weapons. The fact that they were in the car all by itself without more proof that Avis should have found them is not enough to place liability on avis.
This is no different than if you slip and fall in a store, the owner is not liable just because you fell in the store, you have to prove they knew of the defect that caused you to fall. Same in this case you have to prove Avis knew or should have found the guns on reasonable inspection.
They should REASONABLY INSPECT, is what the law says, it does not say what you said, "thoroughly inspect" the cars. Thus, this comes down to where the guns were found as to whether or not a "reasonable inspection would have found them." If a reasonable inspection would have found them, then you are not liable for the additional money they charged you and they should not have charged you without your authorization.