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Pay up or your car engine will stop!

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posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 10:43 AM
Pay up or your car engine will stop

(AOL Autos) -- With consumer credit ratings plummeting, more American car owners could soon be driving around with an electronic Big Brother on board.

Shut-off devices give audio and flashing light warnings before the vehicle's power is cut.

Business is booming for makers of shut-off devices, which turn engines off when car payments are late. Sales at one manufacturer, Littleton, Colorado-based Passtime, are up 33 percent over last year. CEO Stan Schwarz says the company is cranking up production to meet the demand.

"Right now, we are moving about 2,000 units a month into the marketplace," Schwarz says. "I fully expect by the end of the year we will be up to 14,000 to 15,000 a month,"

While the devices have mostly been used in the subprime auto loan market, other lenders are looking closely at the technology, manufacturers say. It's no mystery why interest in the gadgets soaring: the creditworthiness of American consumers is declining as they lose jobs in record numbers and find it harder to tap into home equity.

Wow! I don't agree with this but I just don't know. I can see at least 3 arguements for this situation.

#1. I can see this as a way to force control over people. A gadget like this implemented is most obvious the intention is not necessarily for the payment of the car but for law enforcement. Imagine if the equipement malfunctions and you car engine gets shut off while you are in the middle of rush hour traffic. 70 MPH on a highway and then your car goes dead. Traffic accident waiting to happen. This scenario would mostly endangeour lives.

#2. I can see the lender's side and point of view. We lend you the money, you fail to pay the agreed to payment, we disable you car until you pay your account. Hopefully if this hits mass-market there will be strict regulations on exactly "how far" behind in payments one has to be before this occurs.

#3. Whereas yes there are people with no morals in this world that just don't care about anything except themselves. These are the take everything you can at the expense of others. Tying into argument #2, there are also honest people that bad things happen to. Most commonly, job lay-offs. You get laid off and get behind on your payment because there is no income. Your choice is to divert whatever money you have towards basic necessities and hopefully you do not live beyond your means. You can pay your house, electricity, food, but not your car note. Most of us have to travel far away from home just for work. Without a car, getting a job becomes problematic. Without getting a job, there is no chance of paying your car note up to date.

I would instead like to see them install Low-Jack or something similar. GPS tracking where lenders know where to send the tow truck if they decide to reposess. Obviously reposession should only come after careful talks on a case by case basis as the lendor should realize the risk of lending money and want to work with those who are trying but were given the short end of a stick and reposess those who are not trying to trying to "run".

What are your thoughts? I don't entirely know where the best position should be.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 10:54 AM
None issue. People shouldn't be borrowing money for a car anyhow, they should drive what they can afford. I mean, why pay more for something you couldn't afford in the first place. Auto loans are simply financially irresponsible.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 11:11 AM
my cars are not anything to brag about, but they are paid for..
the only way i like to buy cars. I have only had one time in my life where i had car payments. Other than that i just save up, and keep a eye out for a good deal. The thought of payments kills me.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 11:27 AM
If you're "making payments" you dont own the car so I have no problem with this. At least it's an admission of the reality unlike the whole title/registration scam the governments pull on you.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 11:42 AM
If this type of device became standard on new vehicles, and retrofit for vehicles purchased on credit, I would predict that the additional cost would be passed on to the consumer.

For those who pay cash, hopefully there would be an option to pass on this device, otherwise disabling such a device may be the next booming business.

The idea is but another scheme for manufacturers to sink their teeth into what little wealth is left in the avaerage income earner.

Too many have obviously watched too many ephisodes of "Bait Car".

Although, I have seen this type of device come in handy with the "On Star" System to locate and then kill the engine remotely.

In fact a relative had this happen last year and the On Star coordinated with police to locate the vehicle, then when the car was in a safe area to disable, the police had On Star kill the car.

The perp was caught, the car was reclaimed, and it was really a feeling of satisfaction.

However, I feel that using this technology for the purpose of repossesing a delinquent car owner is, in my opinion crossing the line.

Personally, I have never purchased a vehicle on credit and never will, so if I purchased a car with this device and didn't want a service such as On Star, I would disable it immediately.

Fuel, Spark, Air. That's all I need. Insurance would cover a loss by theft, so there really is no need.

Contrary to this mind set, The next vehicle I buy my woman, I may chose to incorporate a service like On Star for her safety and my peice of mind.

Besides, you never know. I may want to disable the thing if she's behind the wheel just out of principal.

Driving with her is the only time I feel true fear, and it is a very uncomfortable feeling. Lots of imaginary brakes, increased heart rate, sweating and prayers.

But it should be a choice. Not a mandate.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 11:55 AM

Originally posted by imd12c4funn
Besides, you never know. I may want to disable the thing if she's behind the wheel just out of principal.

Driving with her is the only time I feel true fear, and it is a very uncomfortable feeling. Lots of imaginary brakes, increased heart rate, sweating and prayers.

I know the feeling. Such a device would come in handy when I catch wind that the misses is on her way to the shopping mall. What a better way to stop credit card debt!

OK, politically incorrectness aside. I do not believe such a device should ever be implemented. OnStar already has this service and it is optional. You want it you pay for it. You don't want it you cancel the service with OnStar.

The problem comes from living beyond your means. Lenders needs to tighten up the reigns on would be risky loans and not approve them. They don't get the loan. No new car. No debt defaulting. Problem solved.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 12:31 PM
reply to post by imd12c4funn

Actually your post makes a very good point.Since the cost will be passed on to the consumer, probably and it is true you don't own the car if you are making payments. My question is, if and when you pay the car off will they remove the device when you own the car? And if they do will they charge you to have it removed?

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 01:04 PM
reply to post by CaptGizmo

I can see another business venture soaring out of this. The removal of these devices by auto mechanics for a fee. Whether or not the car is paid off.

I shure would get this thing yanked out of my car the second I drove off the lot.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 04:19 PM
I wonder if anyone here has ever though about GM's OnStar in that capacity. I have long thought that OnStar was crafted as a trojan horse in the event of a car repossesion. Even if you don't currently pay for OnStar, they could in theory activate it at their discretion.



Starting 2009, General Motors will equip some new vehicles with Stolen Vehicle Slowdown.[2] This allows police to remotely slow down the vehicle. The service is also expected to help reduce the risk of property damage, serious injuries or fatalities resulting from high-speed pursuits of stolen vehicles. Customers may opt out of that function.

Privacy issues

Critics raise questions about whether police or others could make use of OnStar's tracking, whether legally or illegally, for surveillance or stalking. Privacy advocates worry that innocent citizens may be hassled by the authorities due to false alarms. At least one group, OnStar Privacy, has dedicated a website to privacy concerns of the service.[citation needed]
"The Truth About Cars" wrote that "OnStar's computer knows where you were, when you were there, and how fast you went. It knows if and when you applied the brakes, if and when the air bags deployed, and what speed you were going at the time. It knows if and when your car was serviced. OnStar operators can determine if you have a passenger in the front seat (airbag detection). ... under certain conditions, OnStar can switch on your GM car's microphone remotely and record any and all sounds within the vehicle (i.e. conversations)."[8]
Concerns have also been raised about what could be done with the data collected and stored by a vehicle's MVEDR, which is analogous to the "black box" recorder on airplanes, although an MVEDR is not as sophisticated and does not currently function as a digital audio recorder. For example, privacy advocates worry that auto dealers could use data to suggest that the user engaged in reckless driving and therefore violated the terms of the vehicle’s warranty, or insurance companies could use said data as the basis for denying claims.
Voice-monitoring capability is marketed as OnStar Hands-Free Calling.[9] The use of this type of capability by law enforcement is subject to legal debate and some technical impediments.[10] OnStar maintains that it is unable to "listen to, view, or record the content of calls".[11] However, a 2003 lawsuit revealed that systems such as OnStar can be used for eavesdropping on passenger conversations.[12]

posted on May, 4 2009 @ 12:19 AM

Originally posted by DocMoreau
I wonder if anyone here has ever though about GM's OnStar in that capacity. I have long thought that OnStar was crafted as a trojan horse in the event of a car repossesion. Even if you don't currently pay for OnStar, they could in theory activate it at their discretion.



Oh yeah.. that little OnStar button built-in can shut that car down in a single command, but I was not aware of the eavesdropping capability built-in to that technology. That safety feature is a double edge sword I'd say. The part I have trouble with, is their ability to activate the device on their terms and NOT yours. No OnStar on my whip.


posted on May, 4 2009 @ 12:44 AM
I can just see a towing service somewhere hacking the system and putting out a signal that will disable cars on rural roads where they are one of the few or only towing service in the area.

Most people would then blame the dealer and there would be a number of lawsuits.

And yes there are companies like that.

There have been gas stations in Austin Nevada and Baker Calif that have been caught putting roofing nails on highway pull-offs just to trap tourist.

posted on May, 4 2009 @ 12:50 AM
Man I'm glad my cars are paid for
if I did buy another car and had one of these in it, I guarantee it would be removed as soon as I got home...

"Now do I cut the red wire or the blue wire...hmmm.."

posted on May, 4 2009 @ 09:19 AM
reply to post by Estharik cars and truck are paid off. It has been so long since I've had a car payment. Its almost unAmerican not to have a car payment. UnAmerican I tell you!! But it is great not to be on that Payment treadmill.

I too would find out how to disable such a system. It may take awhile to find the information but it can be done.

If one can figure out how to reprogram a phase lock loop chip can figure out how to bypass or reprogram this system.

Stay away from payments as much as one can...they are a ball and chain around ones neck. With this kind of stuff it will get worse.


posted on May, 4 2009 @ 09:43 AM
reply to post by Amaxium

According to this article those folks with bad credit can obtain a loan if they agree to have the "shut off device" installed.

My concern is that all new vehicles will eventually have them, just one more possible hazard in this bank/technologically controlled society we live in.

We will all end up being reduced to the lowest social denominator...a slave class regardless of our credit score.


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