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Wednesday, July 3, 2024
City: Towing Contractor Ripped off 782 Customers
By News Release @ 9:31 PM :: 862 Views :: Honolulu County, Ethics

Statement on towing contract notice of default

News Release from Honolulu Department of Customer Services July 3, 2024

HONOLULU – Upon the completion of an audit of questionable towing fees by the city’s towing contractor, the Department of Customer Services Director Kim Hashiro issued today the following statement:

“The city has taken the first step toward terminating its towing service contractor, All Island Wreckers, Inc. by issuing a notice of default. The default notice is based on an audit of 782 invoices issued between January 2023 and June 2023 that found inappropriate charges for towing services.

These invoices revealed the mishandling of a $900 fee allowed under the contract. That fee is limited by contract and by law to situations that required excavating or removing vehicles from off-road locations, including ravines and streams. The company is only authorized to charge a reasonable amount in those instances, in spite of the contract provision that allows up to $900 for every 15 minutes of hook-up work after an initial 15 minutes.

Furthermore, the contract clearly states that the director of the Department of Customer Services is the sole authority on determining reasonable amounts that can be charged for removing vehicles from hazardous off-road locations.  For that reason, 782 invoices have been disapproved, and the registered owners of the vehicles are entitled to a refund for being improperly charged.

The city’s towing contractor has also been given 10 calendar days from July 1, 2024 to correct the default, including funding and developing a procedure to facilitate the refunds. If the default is not corrected, the contract will be terminated.

In addition, the city has sent letters to the affected registered owners, briefly explaining the situation, including steps being taken to issue them a refund for the improper charge, and the need for them to provide proof of payment. Registered owners who paid an invoice for a $900 towing fee between January 2023 and June 2023 are also encouraged to contact the department by sending an email to csd@honolulu.gov, or calling (808) 768-4381. When contacting our department, registered owners should provide a name, phone number, email and license plate number. 

—PAU— 

SA: Kokua Line: Will $900 towing fees be refunded? | Honolulu Star-Advertiser 

SA: Tow company remains silent on overcharges 

HNN: Audit finds city's towing contractor overcharged hundreds of vehicle owners 

SA: Column: City pledges fix for towing fee debacle | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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