Follow us:
  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Automotive News

U-Haul Gets Hauled Into Court

Refueling Charges Challenged

A few gallons of gas is turning out to be very expensive for U-Haul, which has been hauled into court over its refueling charges.

The case involves Leonard Aron. When he returned his rental U-Haul truck, he refilled the fuel tank beyond the level it had when he first drove off the lot. U-Haul charged him a $20 "fueling fee" plus another $2 a gallon for gas needed to top off the tank, pointing to his rental contract that spelled out the charges.

That didn't set well with Aron, who brought a class action lawsuit against U-Haul Company of California and U-Haul International, Inc., contending that U-Haul's refueling charges and practices violate the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the California Unfair Competition Law.

Aron is far from alone. Other consumers have complained to about U-Haul's refueling charges, including some who were charged much more than Aron.

"I used the truck for 20 miles ... On the way to returning the truck I have filled up $9.37 worth of gas, which equates to more than 3 gallons of gas," Cuneyt of Seattle wrote. "When I returned the truck (the manager) claimed that I have not filled up the gas and charged me an extra $50 -- $20 for gas (4 gallons at $5), and $30 service fee."

"I had the truck for 5 hours and put 147 miles on it and my contract said that it was a $0$ fee with 2.00 a gallon to fill back up to a half a tank. They charged me $40 fee and 4.00 a gallon," said Christopher of Kansas City, Kansas.

California's Second District Court of Appeal has ruled that Aron's suit should proceed to trial, rebuffing U-Haul's efforts to dismiss the action.

Aron's suit charges that U-Haul's use of the fuel gauges on its trucks to measure fuel is illegal because California law requires measurements to be made in a manner that ensures their accuracy and reliability.

The complaint also says U-Haul's scheduled fees and practices force customers to buy excess fuel to avoid fueling fees, even though U-Haul incurs no refueling costs.

"We find that Aron has alleged facts sufficient to show that U-Haul's representations would be misleading to a reasonable consumer because there is no connection between the imposition of a fee or cost and whether the customer has in fact refueled the vehicle," the appeals court says.

U-Haul's "EZ Fuel Agreement" says, in part: "Customer is responsible for returning the truck with the same fuel level as dispatched or pay fuel charges and a service fee as agreed to on the rental contract."


Take a Quiz

Get matched with an Accredited Partner

Get the news you need delivered to you

Sign up to receive our free weekly newsletter. We value your privacy. Unsubscribe easily.

You’re signed up

We’ll start sending you the news you need delivered straight to you. We value your privacy. Unsubscribe easily.