Man’s rental car experience through Turo turns into nightmare after suspects smash in windows

A man whose rental car experience turned into a nightmare says he now has to foot the bill after two people trashed the vehicle in Monterey Park.

Surveillance video shows the suspects approach the vehicle before they started to smash the windows. The incident happened back in August.

As it turns out, the driver booked the car through Turo, a sharing platform where vehicle owners rent out their cars.

“It feels like I’m living a nightmare. I feel deceived, I feel scared,” said the driver, who only wants to be identified as TQ.

He says neither his car insurance nor his credit card would cover the damage.

“I was initially attracted to Turo by its competitive rates, but I feel the rates are deceptive because it does not factor in insurance,” TQ added.

The California Department of Insurance says Turo is not considered a rental company, so there are different rules when it comes to insurance coverage.

“The primary difference is they are different legal entities, and therefore there are different laws that apply to them,” said the department’s Tony Cignarale. “It’s a vehicle-sharing program. It’s defined differently and therefore handled differently by insurance companies, as well as a consumer’s credit car company that may have a damage waiver attached to it.”

After speaking with investigators, TQ says he has questions about the incident and worries it could be fraud by the vehicle owner.

He feels it’s an inflated cost for the damage. Turo sent an email that says he could be liable for $35,000.

“I’m shocked. I can’t believe that this happened. I can’t believe that Turo has allowed this to happen,” TQ added.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Turo said, in part: “Our teams have worked with the local police to investigate this unfortunate incident… The guest had opted out of a protection plan and was therefore responsible for the damage. The guest could have limited his responsibility by choosing a protection plan.”

“I believe that if this was more clear and transparent upfront, I would’ve purchased insurance. I consider myself pretty travel savvy, and if this could happen to me, I believe this could happen to anyone,” says TQ.

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