Milwaukee man assigned illegal Zipcars

Posted at 10:38 PM, Jun 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-08 10:43:05-04

Zipcars are meant to make your life easier. You should be able to just hop in and get where you're going, without worrying about gas, insurance or registration. But, one Milwaukee man says he was assigned an illegal Zipcar -- twice.

Paul Leyer reached out to Call 4 Action saying the company violated his trust and could have cost him big time.

"On two occasions plates were expired on two Honda CR-V's that ZipCar advertised as being available for reservation online," Leyer told the I-Team.

Leyer notified the company the first time. He said they took the car out of service.

"So they transferred me to a car over by UWM. I happened to find someone willing to give me a ride over there, but I would have missed that appointment otherwise," he said. Then it happened again. "I drove a car for I don't know, two or three hours with expired plates. I could have been pulled over at any time."

Leyer reported that car to the company and got an email back from Zipcar member services saying, "We do understand your concern with the expired sticker and plates. Rest assured that we have order[ed] and will be updating the plate and sticker."

That was May. Monday the car was still available to book, almost one month after Leyer reported it.

"You have a certain expectation. And one of them is making sure you have a legal car," he said.

The I-Team reached out to Zipcar to find out why the cars didn't show current registrations. They responded in an email saying, "From time to time updated stickers can fall off or be removed. We work to ensure that we re-apply the appropriate stickers in a timely manner."

They tell us both of the Honda CR-V's Leyer took pictures of- including the one we saw- do have current registrations, which they sent to us to verify.

Milwaukee Police said officers can check a car's registration status, but a driver can still be ticketed for not having the right stickers. MPD also said an officer isn't likely to write a ticket if someone believes the stickers were stolen or fell off. Zipcar said they would "ensure full compensation" for any driver who got a ticket in a Zipcar for the sticker issue. Leyer hopes the company will keep better track of car registration moving forward.

"There's people that would use the vehicles all the time, and probably many have with expired plates," Leyer said.

The cost of a ticket in Wisconsin could be up to $200. The company does recommend getting to cars 14 minutes early to check them, but that would not be enough time to resolve a registration issue.