OCT 27 1992 The Honorable Phil Gramm United States Senator 712 Main Street, Suite 2400 Houston

, Texas 77002 Attention: Sherrie Parks Dear Senator Gramm: This letter responds to your inquiry on behalf of (b)(6) concerning the applicability of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to car rental companies. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist your constituent in understanding the ADA's provisions. However, it does not constitutes a legal interpretation, and it is not binding on the Department. Title III of the ADA, which prohibits public accommodations from discriminating against persons with disabilities, does apply to rental establishments, including car rental companies. Specifically, there are two different provisions that may apply to the circumstances (b)(6) has described: those relating to barrier removal and those relating to modifications of policies. Both provisions are discussed in detail in the Department's title III regulations and technical assistance manual, copies of which are enclosed. Barrier removal is addressed beginning with Section 36.304 (page 35599) of the regulation and at page 28 of the manual. Modification of policies is discussed in Section 36.302 (page 35597) and on pages 22-4 of the manual. An additional provision of the regulation may be relevant: Section 36.301 of the regulation (page 35596) addresses the prohibition against surcharges for accommodations required under the ADA, including barrier removal and modification of policies. cc: Records; Chrono; Wodatch; McDowney; Breen; FOIA; MAF. :udd:jonessandra:ada.gramml

01-01660​ -2I have also enclosed for (b)(6) information a pamphlet that generally addresses ADA requirements for car rental agencies. The pamphlet was developed by the Council of Better Business Bureaus Foundation under a grant from the Department of Justice. It is not possible for us to determine from the information provided in XX correspondence whether the actions of the company she described violated the provisions of the ADA noted above. If, on receiving this information and reviewing the regulations and manual, she wishes to request the Department to pursue an investigation to determine whether a violation did occur and, if so, to pursue the statutory remedies, she may do so in accordance with the procedures discussed in the manual on pages 64-6. I hope this information assists you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, John R. Dunne Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures (3) 01-01661​ 6/29/92 TO: Sharon FROM: (b)(6) This is to follow up our conversation last week, regarding Title III of the ADA and our trouble in trying to get Hertz to accommodate our needs for a van rental with the rear seat removed. As you can see from the letter, we have a partial victory. My perseverance has gotten us the van, but at a much higher cost than we should have to pay, or can afford. I should be able to pay the original price quoted when I first tried to rent, since service should have been in place at that time. That is what I am trying to accomplish now. But as you can tell from all this, companies will only obey the law if you force them into it. People less knowledgable will still be getting jerked

around. A few wellplaced phone calls might get some of the major companies to comply. Hertz doesn't even have a toll free customer service number. I have been calling the Customer Relations Manager in Oklahoma City, Carol Loud, (405) 721-6440. Thanks for any help you can give. (b)(6) 01-01662​ (b)(6) June 27, 1992 Mr. Craig R. Koch, President Hertz North American Rental 225 Brae Blvd. Parkridge, NJ 07656 Dear Mr. Koch, Although my husband has Multiple Sclerosis, we like to travel like any other family. I am writing to report a problem I am having with your company, Hertz Car Rental. My husband now needs to travel with a three-wheel mobility cart, and therefore we need a minivan to fit the cart, luggage and family in. Even with a van, the rear seat would have to be removed to accommodate the cart. In early June I called several car rental companies to inquire about rates and availabilities. We will be traveling to San Diego on July 11, returning to Dallas on July 18. Hertz is the only company with on premises rental in San Diego, which is necessary with the cart. The rate quoted for one week, unlimited mileage, was $268.99. However, the reservationist said that Hertz's policy was that the rear seat could not be removed. I was told it was because customers had damaged the vehicles. I explained why we needed it, and that the removal would be done by the agent. I was told the only thing that could be done was to call San Diego directly and ask the manager if he would do it. Money was spent to call San Diego Hertz twice to get the manager, and again be told, no. We then reserved a full size car, since that seemed to

be the only option, but this would make travel very difficult. The cart seat must be detached. The body of the cart, which is much harder to lift into a trunk, would take up the whole space in the trunk, and the seat and my son would take up most of the back seat, leaving no room for regular suitcases. During this time, we learned that Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which covers companies selling goods and services to the public, is already in effect. Hertz has to make reasonable accommodations; and certainly, what we were asking is reasonable, since it costs nothing. I then pursued it further. I asked reservations for a corporate customer service phone number. All I could get was a P.O. box in Oklahoma City. I had to call information myself to find a phone number. I called and spoke to the secretary of Carol Loud, the Customer Relations manager, and left a message. The phone call was not returned by the next day. I also spoke to Senator Phil Gramm's legislative aide, who was ready to investigate when I put it in writing. I decided to make another call to Carol Loud, and finally got her on the phone. The problem was explained. 01-01663​ Her tone was curt and somewhat defensive. She said Hertz was providing for the handicapped with hand controlled cars, which has nothing to do with our needs. However, since I was knowledgeable of the new law, she knew she had better deal with it. She said she'd "check it out". She called back in about an hour and said, "as of today, Hertz's policy had changed, and that a van, with rear seat removed, would be available for us in San Diego". A victory, we thought! But short lived. The price she quoted, even with a 5% discount we had, was $468. This is more that we can afford, and $200 more than the original quote. I called reservations for an explanation, and was told that the first few van rentals on a certain date were at a special "promotional price" and that successive rentals got more expensive as fewer vans were left. What a terrible and unfair policy! We believe that we should get our rental at the

original $268 price quoted in early June, since that is when we would have reserved if the service we needed (and which should have been-available) was allowed then. If not, we will have to struggle with the car, which will greatly diminish our much looked forward to vacation. Time is short, so I hope you will act on this quickly. I will be calling Carol Loud again next week. (Customer service really should have a toll free number.) We have never used Hertz before, and I hope we can become satisfied and long-term customers. We are also in touch with many other handicapped people through the MS Society who will be very happy to learn of your new accommodations. Please don't make us suffer for being ground-breakers. I can be reached days at(b)(6) or evenings at (b)(6). Thank you for your help. Sincerely, (b)(6) cc: Sen. Phil Gramm Sen. Lloyd Bentsen 01-01664