Hertz's worldwide operations in Europe, Australia and New Zealand as well as its franchised locations in the USA are not affected. The petition listed IBM Corp. and Lyft Inc.as its biggest creditors, while assets and debts are at $25.8 billion and $24.4 billion, respectively.
Hertz said in a USA court filing on Friday that it voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 reorganization.
A trade group representing Hertz, the American Car Rental Association, has asked Congress to do more for the industry by expanding coronavirus relief efforts and advancing new legislation targeting tourism-related businesses.
Hertz has been approached for comment over the implications of the bankruptcy on its British and Irish operations.
The Estero, Florida-based company, which operates the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty car-rental brands, had been holding talks with creditors after skipping significant car-lease payments due in April. Crew, and Neiman Marcus all filed for bankruptcy protection this month.
With almost $19 billion USA of debt and roughly 38,000 employees worldwide as of the end of 2019, Hertz is among the largest companies to be undone by the pandemic.
"No business is built for zero revenue", former chief executive Kathryn Marinello said on the company's first-quarter earnings conference call on May 12.
The second-largest U.S car-rental company began laying off workers to preserve cash in March as emergency measures to contain the coronavirus halted business and leisure travel. These are not subject to repurchase agreements with vehicle manufacturers.
"However, uncertainty remains as to when revenue will return and when the used-car market will fully re-open for sales, which necessitated today's action", it said.
But the cuts came too late to save Hertz, the nation's No.2 auto-rental company founded in 1918 by Walter L. Jacobs, who started in Chicago with a fleet of a dozen Ford Model Ts.
Mr Icahn's holding company is Hertz's largest shareholder, with a 38.9 per cent stake in the company, according to FactSet.
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