Here's what happened. If a customer made a change to the car request at pick-up or returned one for replacement due to a deficiency, it was not administratively processed in some cases. The article indicated as many as thirty such incidents were reported. So, in the evening when all locations do a 100% verification of all cars on the lot, the cars in question weren't shown as being out for use and were reported as being stolen.
I thought about my recent trip and pondered what if that had happened to me while on the Outer Banks. I could imagine myself pulling in for my book presentation and seeing a a North Carolina State Trooper or a Dare County Sheriff's Deputy right behind me with lights flashing. I would be pulled out of the care, put in handcuffs and carted off to jaul while the store owner and perhaps a few of my readers stood by watching. Not only would the inconvenience and embarrassment have been terrible, but all of those good people who came to talk with me and buy my book would have gone home thinking I was a crook. And then, I would have to call my wife in Florida and tell her. It isn't something I would want to face and I'm thankful that my car was not such an item, but in the case of those poor victims, one spent two weeks in jail before it was worked out and one was literally held in solitary with no information for seven hours.
In all fairness to Hertz, once they became aware of the issue they went to work to fix it and I understand they are going to make good on a fair level of compensation. Apparently several victims are already filing legal complaints which will probably further a reasonable settlement, but my real reason for writing this is to just advise everyone today to be prepared for almost anything in the modern world. Companies cut corners, police assume the worst because of what they face every day and people just don't pay attention to details and become so involved in multi-tasking overload that nothing is thoroughly done. Frankly, I don't see it changing as we rely on so many things that become more and more automated and now the danger of automation surfaces as machine appears to be craftier than we are. Shades of Dave and Hal on "2001: A Space Odyssey" comes to mind.
I think I can even tie this to my faith, for if we assume that man can accomplish anything despite a not so sterling track record at doing so, maybe, just maybe we are putting our trust in the wrong place. I know, in fact, that we do just that often. Let's put God first and get Him involved in our actions and problem solving through prayer. He is the answer man and when we rely on Him openly and from the heart, He gives us the discernment to be able to separate facts from fiction and truth from falsehood. He'll give us the perfect advice on what we should and should not be doing. What have we got to lose? Nothing, but we have much to gain. Have a blessed day.