Published in Transportation

VW demanded money to rescue a child

by on28 February 2023

Admits processes were breached

Adolf Hitler's favourite car company, VW has been handed a PR disaster after it insisted that police hand over $150 to switch on tracking on a stolen car and placed a kidnapped child at risk. 

According to the Chicago Sun Times a woman had already taken one of her kids inside her house but when she went for the other child, a thief knocked her to the ground and stole the car with the child inside.  On the way out he ran the mother over giving her serious injuries. 

The Sheriff's Office of Lake County, Illinois said the car was a Volkswagen Atlas with tracking technology built in was stolen from a woman and when the police tried asking VW to track the vehicle, it refused until it received payment.

The Atlas had a built-in feature called Car-Net that allows vehicle owners to track their cars. As the stolen vehicle was outside of its trial period for the feature, the police attempted calling up the manufacturer to get it re-enabled. At this point, the police hit a snag as the person on the other end of the line said the feature would cost $150 to switch on.

Police had to get a credit card number and call back the representative to get Car-Net working; however, by this time, the child had been rescued and the vehicle had been located so Car-Net’s data was useless.

Volkswagen has stated that its processes were breached by the call handler and is now addressing the situation with the involved parties.


Last modified on 01 March 2023
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