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Your Car Has Been Deactivated

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http://www.minyanville.com/articles/tm-CAR...1828/from/yahoo

Your Car Has Been Deactivated

Mike Schuster Mar 25, 2009 2:00 pm

Your Car Has Been Deactivated

Engine disablers keep loans paid, customers fearful.

Remotely disabling a car's engine isn't just for car thefts anymore: A few missed loan payments can now lead to a dead engine.

More dealerships -- including Honda (HMC), Toyota ™ and other outlets -- have been placing remote disablers in vehicles as a protection against defaulted loans. The palm-sized device is installed under the dashboard and connected to the ignition. Dashboard indicator lights will flash as a warning, but, when the device is activated, the line to the ignition is electronically severed - leaving the driver with a few thousand pounds of useless metal.

Some disablers also come equipped with a GPS sensor for easy locating, which must take all the fun out of being a repo man. But unlike remote disablers used in instances of theft, these devices won't shut down the car while the engine is running.

The recent credit crunch has broadened the appeal of the device.

Once relegated to smaller used-car lots, engine disablers have been making their way to larger dealerships. With the device installed in their vehicles, merchants have an insurance policy when selling to customers with inadequate credit ratings.

But that's also to the customers' benefit: Those who wouldn't normally be eligible for a vehicle can now purchase one - and build better credit in the process.

Don Lavoie -- president and CEO of Sekurus Inc., which manufactures the On Time disabler -- referred to the technology as "a behavior-modification method." Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Lavoie alluded to the way customers view cell phone and car payments differently: Since cell phones will cease to work once the owner stops paying the bill, the incentive to honor the monthly terms becomes greater. With the disabler installed, Lavoie says, auto-loan payments move up on a customer's list of priorities.

This form of loan insurance has proven very popular for Sekurus: Sales of the device increased by 25% in 2008 compared to the previous year, and the company expects to sell double this year.

Some consumer advocacy groups are up in arms over the technology: The Consumer Federation of America accused the devices of increasing surveillance to unsettling levels. The organization also fears situations where a driver is stranded because a payment may or may not have gone through.

Despite the issues of privacy and accidental shutdown, these disabling devices could become the norm - and maybe not just in cars.

Think about that the next time the ink starts disappearing on an overdue library book.

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Sounds pretty simple to get around. Just run direct power around the device. It would hardly be thousands of pounds of scrap metal.

Edited by CaddyXLR-V
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Or you know, pay the bill.

But that's no fun. I was just disputing the fact that it would be scrap metal anyway.

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Or you know, pay the bill.

But that goes against so many people's civil liberties! It's quite sad that there are likely many people out there opposed to this sort of thing.

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Screw that!

I will never allow such a device on any car I buy - period.

This is a crappy time to live in.

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We'll some will agree with me and other will hate me, but this product does have a place here. As stated for those with poor credit, it can change their behavior and get them to be more responsible in making their payments.

Some people need this type of leash to change and become better citizens, responsibility is not always common sense to people and to protect the products they sell and the value in the product, this helps the companies.

Now for those of us that are responsible and have credit, this should not be used on the auto's and if it is on a auto, then it should be removed if the vehicle is fully paid for.

Lucky for me and many of my fellow C&G members we probably have enough skill to remove these bastard items and have our car the way we want it. :)

Live Free and Die hard driving all the way to hell is my Moto! :neenerneener:

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They should've had these on the doors of houses a few years ago. Maybe it would've saved us some pain today. :P

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Hmmmm, what about all those Black Boxes GM has installed in all their cars over the years, that let the police know all there is to know if you are in an accident? Hmmmmmmm? :smilewide:

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Hmmmm, what about all those Black Boxes GM has installed in all their cars over the years, that let the police know all there is to know if you are in an accident? Hmmmmmmm? :smilewide:

Another objectionable technology.

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I could see this backfiring on occasion:

Old way: Guy doesn't pay his loan payments. One day he goes to hop in his vehicle, and finds out the repo man tracked him down & his car is gone.

New way: Guy doesn't make his payments. Warning flashes that the car has been disabled from nonpayment. Repo man follows last transmitted coordinates of the car to find the charred remains of the vehicle, which was set ablaze by the aggravated delinquent ex-driver.

Most of the time I could see it working out, and it does put pressure on people that they can't just pretend that no one will really do anything about it or track them down. I could also see people learning a lot about electronics as they figure out how to disable the device...

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I could see this backfiring on occasion:

Old way: Guy doesn't pay his loan payments. One day he goes to hop in his vehicle, and finds out the repo man tracked him down & his car is gone.

New way: Guy doesn't make his payments. Warning flashes that the car has been disabled from nonpayment. Repo man follows last transmitted coordinates of the car to find the charred remains of the vehicle, which was set ablaze by the aggravated delinquent ex-driver.

Most of the time I could see it working out, and it does put pressure on people that they can't just pretend that no one will really do anything about it or track them down. I could also see people learning a lot about electronics as they figure out how to disable the device...

That would have to be one doubly-stupid delinquent ex-driver, seeing as they would still be responsible for the debt and insurance wouldn't cover arson.

I feel that it's worth protecting your interests if someone folds on their CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION. I've heard of numerous occasions when cars have been hidden to escape the clutches of the repo-man, all while Joe-Shmo still enjoys his quad and snow mobile weekend recreation sports and can't pay his rent. How is that any different from thievery?

I suppose Camino, you would object to the same technology that allows the Police to render your car inoperable should someone steal it?

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Another objectionable technology.

I disagree there. It makes it much harder for the idiot at fault to lie their way out of it. It would have come very much in handy in cases like Sixty8's.

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That would have to be one doubly-stupid delinquent ex-driver, seeing as they would still be responsible for the debt and insurance wouldn't cover arson.

True, but remember... we're generally not dealing with the best & brightest in situations like this. :wink:

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