Sneaky car dealers

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I saw this on an auto newsgroup and fund it interesting.
And dangerous too!
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/03/hacker-bricks-cars /
The dealership used a system called Webtech Plus as an alternative to repossessing vehicles that haven't been paid for. Operated by Cleveland-based Pay Technologies, the system lets car dealers install a small black box under vehicle dashboards that responds to commands issued through a central website, and relayed over a wireless pager network. The dealer can disable a car's ignition system, or trigger the horn to begin honking, as a reminder that a payment is due. The system will not stop a running vehicle.
Texas Auto Center began fielding complaints from baffled customers the last week in February, many of whom wound up missing work, calling tow trucks or disconnecting their batteries to stop the honking. The troubles stopped five days later, when Texas Auto Center reset the Webtech Plus passwords for all its employee accounts, says Garcia. Then police obtained access logs from Pay Technologies, and traced the saboteur's IP address to Ramos-Lopez's AT&T internet service, according to a police affidavit filed in the case.
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The electronification of your car is becoming more and more intrusive. There are microchips in things like your tranny, brakes, etc, that record information without your knowledge. Have an accident? Your insurance company --and law enforecement-- can access those chips to find out how fast you were going, how far before impact you actually hit the brakes, etc. Gee, due to information we retrieved from your car, we are not going to honor your claim!! Welcome to the future.
Several years ago speeding tickets were issued based on readings from GPS devices in rental cars. I think that one got squashed, but rental companies where not happy about it, as it was also the basis for levying additional charges on the customer. Look for and end run on that one.
nb
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I believe this is not a true "car dealer", but rather one of the "buy here, pay here" type loan sharks that specialize in selling to high risk customers with credit scores in the negative numbers. I expect on any given month, 75%+ of their customers are delinquent in their payments.
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On 3/21/2010 10:21 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Understand your concerns about privacy but this isn't a car dealer.
It is one of those places that are set up to serve people in the "new economy" much like the "rent-a-center" places.
In this case they are giving someone a car and they employ a method to remotely disable the car if they haven't been paid. My niece worked at one of those places for a while. She said they are totally upfront about the use of the device.
But it does point out how utterly and completely clueless most are about security. The first thing the rental place should have done when they threw the guy under the bus is reset all of the passwords.
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That's what the news outlets want you to get enraged about, but this doesn't have a damned thing to do with privacy.

Bullshit. Loan shark car dealers have been around for decades. This operation's core business is nothing new. They "sell" a used car to someone on a weekly payment schedule and an exhorbitantly high interest rate. Technically they are only RENTING the car, as ownership remains with the dealer until the loan is paid.
Miss a payment, and you lose the car. As it should be.
Evidently a major problem with this is the "buyers" moving to a new address but failing to inform the car dealer. They go to reposses the car, and nobody's home. The car is nowhere to be found.
Now it CAN be found. I think it's a great idea. The execution could use a little work, though.
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I believe On Star can do this. One of their ads shows them disabling a stolen vehicle. If they can do it to a stolen vehicle, they can do it to any vehicle.
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How unreasonable of them! To expect people to pay for what they purchased! Geezzze...
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Tho I think the story you are reporting is bogus, I just wanted to point out that the title you used for the thread is redundant. :)
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hibb wrote:

there. The papers reported a court case a year or three ago about buyers being unable to use their cars even if the payments were current. I would NEVER deal with a dealer that used such garbage- if I couldn't afford to buy a decent used car (private or dealer), I'd just keep buying beaters. Buy here, pay here lots are a sucker bet anyway. Like rent-to-own furniture, their business is lending money at super high rates. The merchandise is just a hook to get you in the tent.
--
aem sends...

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aemeijers wrote:

More accurately, the "buy here, pay here" outfits are the only option left to those who have tried to rip off all the legitimate dealers / banks and have negative credit scores. People who actually pay their bills don't deal with these places and those who have to deal with those places dug their own financial graves.
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Pete C. wrote:

Not saying you are wrong, but there are still $750 used cars out there, that will get you back and forth to work. The fenders will be flapping in the breeze, and the seats will need a blanket over them, but they move under their own power. That is a better option than dealing with a buy-here pay-here lot, IMHO. Personally, I only buy cars I can write a check for. Never made payments, never plan to.
--
aem sends...

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aemeijers wrote:

I would agree, however people who dig their own financial graves also don't have the sense to put their egos aside and trade unaffordable bling for sensible beater.

I finance my vehicles, but only through real banks (not even auto dealer's financing), with a sizable amount down and at both low interest rates and short terms.
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Three years ago I bought a car with 1.9%. I bought a new one a few months ago for 0%. Not much incentive for a short term, but the rate is good.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

That works for cars, but such manufacturer promo rates are rarely available for the trucks I buy since they are always in demand.
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I have 3 months to go on my FORD, 36 month 0% interest financing. Thats a truck, a 2007 F-150 Supercrew 4X4 5.4
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Rudy wrote:

The 150/1500 series in any of the brands falls under their "car" marketing scheme. The F250 and up are in the "truck" marketing scheme and my new truck is an F350 DRW.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

the last used vette i bought was about 7 years ago when credit cards were still offering limited time 0% and no cost transfers of other loans for 1 year. i bounced that loan through 3 different cards before it got paid off, and never paid interest on the car.
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aemeijers wrote:

What the hell kind of chick can you pick up in a $750 clunker?
You need to keep up with the times. Do you know you can rent TIRES? Not only that, but you can rent WHEELS! Some as low as $50/week - but that's for the whole set.
There are, evidently, females who go all wet when they see the latest chrome-and-stainless-with-just-a-discrete-hint-of-gold-bling going round-and-round.
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HeyBub wrote:

A little yellow one that goes cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep......
TDD
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Semi-accurate, IME.
Many if not most of these unfortunates never intended to rip-off anybody. They found themselves under the bus due to ignorance and legitimate errors, or circumstances, or a drum of misplaced false hope.
Perhaps a little late to the "we tote the note" game, I ran among the first of those associated with and located on the lot of a factory dealership.
Anyone can hit a bump in the road. If one does not know any of those ones, they probably don't know many ones.
As applies across the board, interest rates are regulated by law.
The BHPH lot typically charges 0% interest. Profit is derived of an inflated purchase price and a down that invariably covers the initial investment which substantially mitigates potential "loss".
The BHPH dealer wants to make money, and for that they must sell a car, but they hold all the cards. If one is suspect in their intentions to honor their obligations they leave the lot in the '00 economy car rather than the oversize SUV.
If they buyer won't hear of that, they don't need a vehicle as much as they they think they need "bling".
They tend to leave in a vehicle similar or identical to the one in which they arrived. -----
- gpsman
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