Rental car companies gauge the benefits of a new technology to measure fuel use
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Last Updated: 16 hours ago John Matarese For Joanie Flaig, her husband, and daughter, it was to be the trip of a lifetime to Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon. But they didn’t expect they’d have to make the trip in a rental car from a major agency, with a sputtering engine and worn tires. They Start Noticing Problems During one of their first gas stops, she says, “my husband noticed that the drivers’ side rear tire was completely bald. And he said, ‘wow, we have a long way to go, that could be an issue!’ ” Flaig says they were several hundred miles from the rental counter when their Chrysler 200, with more than 45,000 miles on the odometer, starting exhibiting what the Wall Street Journal calls “middle aged rental car” problems. “We were somewhere between the Wyoming-Utah border, in the middle of the mountains, with no cell phone coverage,” she said, “and the check engine light came on.” It turns out it was leaking coolant.
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Flint’s Kettering U. offers new rental car program
offers new rental car program SARAH SCHUC, Associated Press By SARAH SCHUCH, The Flint Journal Updated 1:12am, Friday, September 13, 2013 Zipcars wait to be used at Kettering University on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. Kettering University in Flint has become one of six Michigan universities to offer a car sharing network for students, faculty and staff called Zipcar. LOCAL TV OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT Photo: The Flint Journal, Michelle Tessier Zipcars wait to be used at Kettering University on Friday, Sept.
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Our new technology automatically measures and records the precise amount of gas in the tank at the time the customer exits the rental facility, and measures and records the fuel level again when the vehicle is returned, says Avis spokeswoman Alice Pereira. Both readings are printed on the customers rental receipt when the vehicle is returned. Through this method, customers can clearly see exactly how much fuel they are being charged for and the amount of such charge. When Freeman phoned Avis to question her bill, it quickly deleted the fuel charge. But shes unhappy with the way the technology is being used. Not only do I think its unreasonable to hold the consumer to a data point we have no access to, she says, but I am certain that there would be no credit if I had returned the car more full than the full I received. (Avis says it would have credited her for any additional fuel.) Fuel purchasing has always been a hot topic among car rental customers. Thats because the systems either favor the car rental company or the renter but are never entirely fair to either.
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