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Interior damage to car
My brother, who is not a frequent traveler, is on vacation and rented from Thrifty. He got a Pacifica with 26,600 miles on it. The air conditioning panel is completely messed up.. you cannot turn the power off, you cannot change the temperature or change the fan speed. When they got the car, it seemed to work OK but now for whatever reason it seems as though the panel has come unaligned with the buttons. There is what appears to be previous damage to the panel (it is cracked in more than one section).
The question is this... he is afraid to mention it when he returns it on Saturday because he thinks he will be charged for the damages even though he has no idea how it happened. I think he should complain and ask for a discount. Thoughts?
The sooner he mentions it, the more standing he has to argue that it did not happen under his watch. If he waits to mention it until he returns, it's kind of like waiting until you return with 3/4 of a tank of gas and then mentioning the gas tank was 3/4 full when you picked it up and demanding not to be charged--your argument may not fly far.
That said, I have never heard of anyone being charged for interior "damage" like that. I've never even seen anyone charged for stained carpets or upholstry. The most I've ever seen is if the interior was really bad (like fish guts stained in the entire back half of a minivan), a detailing fee might be charged, but stuff like that is really considered normal wear and tear. It might even be covered under Chrysler's warranty.