U-Haul Accuses Chicago Towing Companies Of Hauling Away Perfectly Fine Vehicles To Rake In Cash

There’s a fight heating up between U-Haul and Chicago-area towing companies, with the former accusing the latter in a new lawsuit of fraudulently hauling away its trucks and trailers and then making the company pay thousands in fees to get the vehicles back.

The lawsuit names 14 towing companies and individuals, alleging that the scheme took place all over the city and in suburbs during the past year, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Here’s how the alleged scheme went down, according to the complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court: customers using U-Haul to move stuff were offered money to claim that their vehicles had broken down — when they hadn’t — and request towing. Though U-Haul has roadside assistance numbers listed on the contract and posted on vehicles, customers instead called the named towing companies, which weren’t authorized by U-Haul, the company claims.

One customer involved said she was offered $500 by one of the defendants to rent a vehicle from U-Haul in the northwest suburbs, and then claim it was damaged, necessitating a towing service. She says she reported backing into a light pole but later admitted to U-Haul that nothing had happened.

U-Haul started an investigation as the towing incidents piled up, but it didn’t say in the lawsuit how many vehicles were involved.

“U-Haul filed the lawsuit after an extensive investigation following an increasing number of U-Haul rental equipment had been towed in the region under suspicious circumstances,” Steve Hansen, a U-Haul vice president, said in a statement.

U-Haul of Illinois is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and injunctive relief to prevent the defendants from towing their vehicles again.

U-Haul sues Chicago-area companies in alleged towing scheme [Chicago Tribune]