The old joke that rentals are the fastest cars on the street came from the fact that people tend to abuse things that don’t belong to them. Case in point: A high school teacher is accused of renting a 2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 on Turo and racing it to 160 mph, causing thousands in damage in the process.
Greg Ditch, a teacher at Naperville North High School in Illinois, is an adviser to an all-girls’ automotive club at the school. They built a truck that they were taking to a standing-mile land speed competition, the Texas Mile in Beesville, Texas, but the truck broke down en route. They needed another vehicle to keep them in the competition.
“We were on the phone for hours all night trying to find some type of vehicle somewhere,” Ditch told Chicago TV station Fox 32.
That’s when, Geovanni Morales says, Ditch reached out to him about his Supra, which he rents out on Turo.
“I’ve been doing rentals for a while,” said Morales, who lives in San Antonio. “Usually I’m concerned when it’s a younger guy. He’s a lot older, he knows about cars, he’s a teacher, so I’m like, ‘OK, my car’s in good hands.'”
This is where their stories differ. Ditch insisted to the TV station that he and his students competed with a different Supra, one he claims was loaned to them by a dealership. Morales says it was his car that was raced.
And race, apparently, it did. The car’s owner said the crew got the Supra up to 160 mph, 5 miles per hour faster than its advertised “limited” top speed. Morales saw his car — with his aftermarket wheels and his license plate — on social media posts about the competition, confirming his suspicions that Ditch was racing the car. Of course, that sort of drama doesn’t come without consequences, as the car’s owner claims Ditch caused $4,000 worth of damage to the car’s wheels and tires.
Morales said that Ditch “did wear down all the tires. … The brakes are definitely worn down because they got the car up to 160 miles per hour.”
The rental and damage are still under investigation — including an investigation by the school district that employs Ditch. But if he did indeed rent the car on Turo, he could be on the hook for the damage. We’re guessing the optional damage insurance won’t be the savior Ditch needs in this situation, as Turo’s policy clearly states that off-roading and using the vehicle “in any race, test, or competition” is prohibited.