Robert Nashville/Savannah

New Device Disables Car if Driver Misses Payment

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Interesting story here. We were looking for a car for my daughter last May. We had 8000 cash and had been looking around. My daughter found the car she wanted at a Buy Here-Pay here lot. She took us to show it and it was a 03 Mustang convertable with low miles and in really good shape. I take it for a test drive and take it to a garage that a friend of mine owns. He goes over it and gives it a clean bill of health. As we are leaving he tells us, that it has a kill switch, make the dealer take it off.

He goes on to say that he has heard stories that there are universal codes out there that will shut down the car without warning. Not a good thing with a pretty young girl driving.

Go back to the dealer and ask about the car. He states some outragous price and we negioate. For a lump sum cash sale he gives a good deal. I am about to leave the lot to go to bank and get the money and tell him "While I am gone, remove the kill switch." He refuses, I ask him if it is radio controlled and he affirms that it is. I tell him I want it removed. He tells me that removing will disable the car and refuses to remove it. I end up not buying the car.

Well, your daughter's first mistake was wanting a Mustang!!! :)

Her second mistake was dealing with a Buy-here Pay-Here lot - they are the payday loan people of the used car world so the actions you describe don't surprise me.

Considering how many late model used Mustangs there are out there; I'm sure there is one out available from a private party or a more reputable dealer. :)

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I would imagine the concept is the same as "fixing" a car with one of those alcohol breathalyzers that you have to blow into before the car is allowed to start.

I had a contractor that used to buy from me that found a way around that. He just paid a kid $8 an hour to drive around with him alll day to blow in it and just used it as a business expense.

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haha.. bad? That's genius, if you can afford it. :)

He tells me that removing will disable the car and refuses to remove it. I end up not buying the car.

Wow, that's some BS there. BHPH lots are really scumbags. Of course, they don't exactly serve high end clientèle. I agree with Robert... avoid at all costs.

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Unfortunately, this sort of technology is going to be almost impossible to avoid even when a consumer buys a vehicle for cash.

Law enforcement agencies have been pressuring automakers for some time to essentially install a "switch" to kill an engine in a vehicle as a way to avoid high-speed pursuits or stop a pursuit in progress.

I think we can all agree that such is a good intention…the problem with any technology is that it can break or malfunction and with something like this, if it malfunctions at the wrong time, it could cost lives.

I think Orwell had it right; it's just taking a bit longer than 1984!

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Yet another reason to not buy with credit.

The GPS devices freak me out. I'll never have OnStar. They're watching us. They are. You know it's true. My point of view is any technology that can be abused is being abused.

Remember the television series Nowhere Man? I had never seen it but stumbled upon it on youtube and watched the entire 24 episodes in ten days. It totally fed my paranoiac fears and suspicions--completely justified suspicions, I think.

They are listening too!!! OnStar no way! I accidentally pressed the OnStar button in a rental once... Next thing I know some gal is LISTENING and then starts talking to me! Talk about making you paranoid.

Despite the potential safety concerns pointed out, I think if the only way you can get a car on credit is with one of these devices, well that's the way it is. After all, the device just helps insure that the borrower will actually do what they promised when they signed the contract. I probably would have greater issue with the terms of the contract, price of the POS they bought and the astronomical interest rate they're being charged.

When you look at this and all the other stuff going on, I think Orwell was an optimist.

Gives a whole new (and sinister) meaning to one of the great lines in a '60s speech by Kennedy:

"Some men see things as they are and say why.

I dream things that never were and say why not"

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Despite the potential safety concerns pointed out, I think if the only way you can get a car on credit is with one of these devices, well that's the way it is.

I think not. When you start allowing private individuals/companies to take matters into their own hands you are heading straight into complete anarchy. The courts are there to issue justice and resolve these sorts of disputes. Allowing a company to just switch off your property and take it for any twisted reason they see fit, you are just asking for trouble.

This is also why I will not buy Blu-ray (and upset that HD threw in the towel). Blu-ray has built in specifications that allow the manufacturer to update code from the boot block on a BD disc or from an internet connection and disable the device if the internal memory shows any misuse (like playing a copied disc). You then have to take it to a repair center and pay a fine to have the player re-activated. Thank you MPAA for that little bit of technology. NOT.

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This was something that a dealership in Michigan had been doing to customers who had missed a payment. I believe the dealership was Mel Farr Cheverolet in Detroit. They ended up paying huge settlements to the people they had done this to.

I don't like what these dealers do especially with the high interest rate, but why were there settlements?

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...This is also why I will not buy Blu-ray (and upset that HD threw in the towel). Blu-ray has built in specifications that allow the manufacturer to update code from the boot block on a BD disc or from an internet connection and disable the device if the internal memory shows any misuse (like playing a copied disc). You then have to take it to a repair center and pay a fine to have the player re-activated. Thank you MPAA for that little bit of technology. NOT.

Dang it, Methuss...I just bought a PS3 a few weeks ago, primairly for the Blu-ray player, and not you tell me this...where were you when I needed you!

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This is also why I will not buy Blu-ray (and upset that HD threw in the towel). Blu-ray has built in specifications that allow the manufacturer to update code from the boot block on a BD disc or from an internet connection and disable the device if the internal memory shows any misuse (like playing a copied disc). You then have to take it to a repair center and pay a fine to have the player re-activated. Thank you MPAA for that little bit of technology. NOT.

I am sure some 12 year old in some Western European country will find a way to hack this. Just like with DVDs, which was supposedly "copy-proof" when they first came out before some kid figured out how to break the CSS. That's why I don't early adopt any hot technology/operating system. I wait for it to mature a bit and then see if anyone has removed any of the inconveniences associated with them. (i.e. Vista...but from the looks of even that, I might just jump to the next O/S...the only MS O/S I have never played with (personally used) aside from Vista since Dos 5.0 would be WinME. Vista might be number two.)

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Blu-Ray's BD+ encryption scheme has already been cracked.

The problem is that now that they know this, they can develop and add new bootloader code onto new discs being printed, which will update players to "fix" the cracked version.

Devices like PS3's probably won't use that method, they're connected to the internet for gaming and system updates as it is. But we are talking Sony here, the same company that distributed a secret anti-CD ripping driver on some of it's CD's.

I only ripped and burned DVD's for my kids use, and since they have no need for HD disney movies, this really doesn't bother me yet.

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Blu-Ray's BD+ encryption scheme has already been cracked.

The problem is that now that they know this, they can develop and add new bootloader code onto new discs being printed, which will update players to "fix" the cracked version.

Devices like PS3's probably won't use that method, they're connected to the internet for gaming and system updates as it is. But we are talking Sony here, the same company that distributed a secret anti-CD ripping driver on some of it's CD's.

I only ripped and burned DVD's for my kids use, and since they have no need for HD disney movies, this really doesn't bother me yet.

Folks need to realize that there is no technology Man has invented that could not be circumvented. Blueray, the shut off box for the car, etc. If Man made it, it can be defeated...period. You would need to be of a Higher Power to invent something that can not be broken/broken into.

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But Methuss makes a valid point. I don't think it's a good idea to let manufactures "slip" code or chips into retail products that allow them so much control. I bought the damn thing, it's mine, just leave me alone!

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I wait for it to mature a bit and then see if anyone has removed any of the inconveniences associated with them. (i.e. Vista...

*snort*

Vista's copy protection is a joke. If you are willing to do a little BIOS hacking on your machine you can easily add a SLIC table to most modern firmware code and then apply an OEM .xml file with the slmgr.vbs script to disable activation.

No challenge at all.

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*snort*

Vista's copy protection is a joke. If you are willing to do a little BIOS hacking on your machine you can easily add a SLIC table to most modern firmware code and then apply an OEM .xml file with the slmgr.vbs script to disable activation.

No challenge at all.

Never thought it would be; Microsoft sucks at copy protection that a 5 year old from the US can hack into it...but I run alot of software both for work and personal use that seem to run quite buggy on Vista.

When I was younger, I jumped at the newest O/S because it was the latest and greatest. Experience and age has tempered that considerably. The only exception to that was Windows 2000. I hated NT 4.0 so much that I was willing to blindly believe that I could get the security of NT 4.0 with the convenience of Windows 98 (in terms of native USB). I stayed with Windows 2000 until about 2 years after XP came out. (When XP came out with SP2). Vista I fear will be the same way but maybe Service Pack 4 or something... :lol:

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Yeah...when I worked for Boeing we were still using Windows 2000 (in 2005/2006). They finally upgraded Enterprise wide to XP in 2006, only becuase MS was not going to support 2K any longer.

I'm going to get a new PC in a year or so (about when I get my Altima), and I"m seriously considering keeping win2K, or at least XP.

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Just so you know. MS originally planned to end XP licensing on January 1, 2008. They have extended it one "final" time to June 30, 2008. After that date (unless something changes in the next 2 months) OEM manufacturers will no longer be able to sell Windows XP licenses with new computers*. Vista only after that date.

I get regular updates as a MS Gold partner on licensing...

*Two exceptions. XP will continue to be sold to "developing nations" and for ultra-low power, mini computers that simply don't meet Vista minumum requirements.

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Just so you know. MS originally planned to end XP licensing on January 1, 2008. They have extended it one "final" time to June 30, 2008. After that date (unless something changes in the next 2 months) OEM manufacturers will no longer be able to sell Windows XP licenses with new computers*. Vista only after that date.

I get regular updates as a MS Gold partner on licensing...

*Two exceptions. XP will continue to be sold to "developing nations" and for ultra-low power, mini computers that simply don't meet Vista minumum requirements.

That is correct. But that's just selling it. Support for those who already have it will be more important.

Whatever machine 'Kaner or anyone else buys will have Vista in one of it's many flavors. It will be up to him whether he keeps it, or downgrades. But in a year, it would be best to see if Vista has become stable in that time as it would have been more than 2-3 years (depending on when he buys it) to warrant keeping it.

As long as XP does the job on my current laptop and MS doesn't kill supporting it via important updates, I'm going to hold off indefinitely upgrading.

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