MI AG Nessel Issues Updated Consumer Alert on Towing Practices

Contact: Kelly Rossman-McKinney 517-335-7666
Agency: Attorney General

March 19, 2019

LANSING – Following several complaints about Michigan towing companies, Attorney General Dana Nessel today issued an updated consumer alert to better educate Michiganders on the state’s towing laws. The updated alert includes information and how to file a complaint about unlawful towing and unreasonable fees.

“Having your car towed without your knowledge is not only disruptive, it’s expensive and creates all kinds of additional problems – financial and logistical. That’s why it’s important Michiganders know their rights,” Nessel said.

Nessel’s consumer alert outlines three common scenarios for towing a vehicle; at the direction of law enforcement; a private property owner; or the owner of the vehicle. For tows not done at the vehicle owner’s request, towing fees are typically set by an agreement between the police agency or private property owner and towing company.  Vehicle owners should contact the agency that requested the towing to verify its fees. If the vehicle is towed at the owner’s request, they should check their insurance policy to see if it covers towing-related costs.

The updated alert issued today also includes information on:

  • Michigan towing laws;
  • Retrieving personal property from a towed vehicle;
  • Redeeming a towed vehicle;
  • Challenging a tow;
  • Challenging the reasonableness of towing fees; and
  • Filing a towing complaint.

“Michiganders have the right to challenge whether their vehicle was properly towed and the reasonableness of towing and storage fees,” Nessel said. “This alert helps provide residents with the information they need to make an informed and timely decision on how they can proceed.”

The Michigan Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has received 10 towing-related complaints since January 1, 2019. Altogether last year, the department received 56 towing-related complaints. Consumers who have been a victim of illegal towing practices are encouraged to file a complaint by visiting the Attorney General's website or calling 877-765-8388.

The detailed consumer alert can be found here.

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The Attorney General provides consumer alerts to inform the public of unfair, misleading, or deceptive business practices, and to provide information and guidance on other issues of concern. Consumer alerts are not legal advice, legal authority, or a binding legal opinion from the Department of Attorney General.