Pay up or your car engine will stop
HOFFMAN G., Pay up or your car engine will stop, 17.04.2009
|Topics||Business Model, Property|
"Consumers could increasingly find themselves in cars with shut-off devices if their credit turns bad and they are forced to shop at dealerships serving the subprime market."
"Their proponents call the devices a win-win for consumers and finance companies. They make it possible for dealers to sell cars to people who would have a hard time getting a loan otherwise. The buyers end up paying a somewhat lower interest rate because the risk to the lender is less."
"The products also include global positioning, or GPS, to speed up the repossession of the vehicle, if necessary."
"The devices used in the subprime market have spawned lively debates about their value and appropriateness, along with Internet chatter about how to disable them -- a move sure to send the repo teams into action. There have been a few lawsuits and scattered complaints about devices shutting down the engine while the owner is driving. Manufacturers attribute the incidents to mechanical problems unrelated to the devices."
"Numerous safeguards are built-in, the manufacturers say. The devices won't shut down the engine while the vehicle is moving, and consumers can extend the car's operation in an emergency. Contracts spell out that the device is present on the vehicle."
""We have customers sign a disclosure before they get into the car, saying the unit is on the car and how it is going to function," Schwarz said. "The disclosure form is four or five pages long, and the customer checks off every box."