Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Can your car dealer remotely kill your car??

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Apparently some car dealers install packages that allow them to remotely disable your car, honk the horn or do other mischief. A disgruntled employee hacked into the web based system that allows them to remotely disable a car’s ignition or cause the horn to continue honking.

Many people would probably be unaware that the dealer can disable their vehicle at will. Who REALLY reads the fine print

Car Dealers can remotely kill your car
Car Dealers can remotely kill your carAmber_Avalona / Pixabay

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/03/hacker-bricks-cars/

This is a bit disturbing at best. I’m in no way a fan of trial lawyers but this seems like a big fat lawsuit just waiting to happen, especially if the customers were not aware that this type of package was installed in the vehicle.

This YouTube video is an expose of the practice.

Suppose a person had a pregnant wife just ready to deliver. They go to get into the car and it won’t start because they were a couple of weeks late on their payment or a disgruntled employee decided to shut them down?

When I buy my next vehicle, I plan on asking the dealer and having them sign a document stating that there is no remote disabling technology installed. If they won’t sign that, then I’ll simply go to the next dealership.

Another aspect to this is that the kill switches often have GPS trackers. That means that whoever is controlling the tracker can track your every move. “Hey Bob, check this out. The Smiths are up the mountains this weekend. Do ya think your brother Larry would like to hit their house? “

While the lenders deserve to be paid, the privacy and safety of the consumers needs to be considered. 

With the preponderance of ‘smart’ appliances, I could see how this could also be used for things like televisions and perhaps even home heating systems.

Caveat Emptor.

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