Wayne, Richard & Hurwitz LLP filed a class action Complaint against Zipcar, Inc. (“Zipcar”) on Wednesday, July 27.  The Complaint was filed in the United States District Court of Massachusetts.

Zipcar is a well-known “car sharing” company. Zipcar members pay an annual fee to obtain the ability to rent Zipcars by the hour or for the day. Zipcar vehicles are kept in parking lots and parking garages in major cities, such as Boston, New York City, and Chicago. Once a member reserves a vehicle online or via phone, they use a Zipcar card to access their chosen car. The member can utilize the vehicle for the selected length of time, after which the vehicle must be returned to the garage or lot from which it was retrieved.

The named plaintiff in this case is a Zipcar member challenging Zipcar’s late fee system. If a vehicle is returned late, Zipcar charges substantial late fees, even if the vehicle is returned merely a minute late. Plaintiff objects to this system, as the penalties imparted upon members exceed any compensation for the harm to Zipcar. Plaintiff seeks restitution for late fees unfairly imparted, as well as a finding that Zipcar’s late fee policy is void and unenforceable.