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Enterprise Car Rental / odor in car

1 hwy 70 westNew Bern, NC, United States Review updated:

1/14/09 made reservation for car/ confirmation #RF30GO
1/21/09 pickup car from New Bern at 5:02p. m., left car in lot while we went out to eat. Returned around 7p. m. to take car home. Noticed smell but thought it may have been the cleaning supplies to detail car.
1/22/09 Stopped by Enterprise before leaving for Florida to request an upgrade with cruise control, they stated they had no cars and there wouldn’t be any back before afternoon, no need to speak about smell.
After about an hour I decided to drive with the windows down and the heater on to air the car out. There was no change and by midmorning I had a headache and having bouts of nausea, at lunch I took a BC powder and ate a light lunch of soup and crackers. Talked to my husband and told him the smell was still strong and we decided to call when I arrived in Florida. I did not want to stop along the way because I was afraid of getting lost. I continued on until around 3 p. m. when I decided to stop for the night. I was feeling bad and my clothing smelled just like the car. I decided to go to Wal-mart and buy something to wear and something to eat. I then took a shower, ate some crackers, took another BC, and went to bed.
1/23/09 I woke feeling bad, took another BC with orange juice and got back on the road. I arrived at my daughter’s home in Milton, Florida around 3 p. m., I was sick so I visited a few minutes and went to bed.
1/24 &1/25 I was in bed most of the weekend, I continued with having headaches, sore throat, and having chest congestion which was making it hard to breath.
1/26/09 Left Milton for Fort Walton to stay with my mother, she noticed my face was red like I was wearing rouge. Called Enterprise and asked their hours and told them about the odor.
1/27/09 I was at Enterprise when the doors opened, they called New Bern office and ask what they should do about it, New Bern said to clean the inside and see if that would help. They shampooed the carpets more than once, and told me to let the car air out and if there was still a problem to bring it back. They were very helpful.
1/28/09 I let the car air out all Tuesday but the odor was still present on Wednesday. I returned to Enterprise, they again called and spoke to New Bern, and was told to allow me to have a loaner car. I was given the phone number for a Charles Stevenson [protected]) who was over the New Bern office. I called and he was more concerned with me bringing the car back to NC than what I was going thru.
Thursday and Friday I visited with family and stayed in the bed. I was feeling the same and was concerned about my health.
1/30/09 I left and went back to Milton at which time I called Poison Control and spoke to them. By this time we had decided that the smell was Kerosene. I gave them all the symptoms I was having and they referred me to the ER. I went to Santa Rosa Medical Center ER, I had chest xray, blood work, ekg, and blood gasses drawn. The doctor who examined me stated that I had Bronchitis and Sinusitis, which could have been caused by exposure to chemicals. He ordered a shot to help me breath and gave me five Rx. He also gave me a discharge note which reads “DO NOT DRIVE THIS VEHICLE IF FUMES ARE PRESENT IT IS MEDICALLY NOT RECOMMENDED DUE TO THE SYMPTOMS PT. PRESENTS WITH.”
1/31/09 Filled the Rx and rested most of day.
2/1/09 Granddaughter’s 1
birthday party. Decided to return home early and see own MD.
2/2/09 Back to Fort Walton. Stopped at Enterprise and they brought the car around, the odor was still present. The agent said that she could not put me back in that car, and she called the agent in New Bern. I called Mr. Stevenson again, and told him I would not be driving back the car, he reflected in his voice that he was not happy, but there was nothing he could do for me.
I left the following morning and returned home on Wednesday, 2/4. On 2/5/09 my husband and I returned the car to New Bern, my husband had been in contact with Mr. Stevenson and we knew they were not going to charge us for the full amount of rental, but we felt that the service and way I was treated by New Bern that we shouldn’t be required to pay anything. We spoke to the manager of the office and he made me feel like I was the one who did the damage and he could charge me $1 a mile to pick up the car. I know that there is now way to prove that they knew about the problem, but I know they knew and just wanted the car to be rented.
I have returned to my MD and he stated that he could not determine how long it would take for the kerosene to get out of my system and I know thru research there could be long term problems down the road.
I have been in contact with Becka Chambers [protected]) and Ausie Santos. Both were very pleasant, but in the end Mr. Santos ended by making this my fault and not finding who placed the kerosene in the car and more importantly who knew about the smell before the car was rented.
I am 59 years old, I was alone on the road, and they expected me to get stranded in a town where I knew no one to take care of a problem that I did not create.
There are no words to express my feelings of betrayal from Enterprise and fear of what may come later from this incident concerning my health.
I am asking for help to clear this up and find out what really happened.
Mary Miller

I have e-mailed Mr. Taylor, Ms. Nicholson, and Ms. Martini. They have not gotten back to me as of this date. I am now in search of the list of Board members.

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Comments

  • Ty
      19th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    You need to see a lawyer to discuss a lawsuit for payment for all medical expenses, rental expenses, and mental/physical anguish. You should have called poison control again the moment you received your results from the doctor. The car should immediately have been taken out of service and you should have been given a new car. Poison Control would have been able to verify that you had not caused the smell in the car. Enterprise would have been immediately liable for ALL problems caused by the odor, including time off work (if you work) because they rented a car knowing (or should have known) that it contained harmful, poisonous, even potentially deadly gasses. YOU COULD HAVE DIED, either from the gasses themselves, or they could have overcome you while driving, caused you to lose consciousness and steer off the roadway.
    Right now you should call you local poison control and "prompt" them to conduct an investigation of poisoning on the car. If the car still has the odor and Enterprise is still renting the car, you will have no problem arguing they KNEW about the odor and still rented the car to you, KNOWING that there was a potential for a deadly outcome. CALL NOW!!! Even after 4 months, make the call.

  • An
      10th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    O please Ty, I believe you are over dramatizing the situation by saying she could have died. She would not have died due to such limited exposure and i am flabbergasted that you would try to scare someone so badly. The smell was obviously not obtusely present to note at the beginning, so it wouldn't be that bad. This being true, the responsibility falls on the previous renter, who spilled the 'kerosene' in the car and not Enterprise.

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