Car dealers hiding GPS trackers in financed vehicles - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Car dealers hiding GPS trackers in financed vehicles

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MESA, Ariz. -

How about GPS installed in your car? Not the kind that helps you get from one location to another.

Rather one that lets the dealer track your car, your every move, and even disable your car if you miss a payment.

More and more car dealers are resorting to this

A valley man who removes the devices say they can be found anywhere, but most are hidden under the driver compartment.

He estimates 70 percent of used car dealers in the valley use them.

But car dealers say its a win-win for the credit challenged customer and lenders.

Ed Lacapra the General Manager for Go Auto Sales in Mesa says about 90 percent of the cars that leave his lot have a GPS transmitter, installed in them.

"This allows the banks to basically lend money to customers that have had credit issues in the past," said Lacapra.

Lacapra says most of his customers are "credit challenged".

He says the device lets them locate the vehicle and even disable it if need be, although never while the vehicle is moving.

"Let's say a customer was 30 days late on a payment, rather than send a repo man out take the car away from the customer, this would give the customer another chance to catch up on their payments," he said.

"This device was installed in the fuse block the distribution block," said David Main.

David Main used to install the devices, and now owns a GPS removal service.

"I had a message from my phone from the finance company telling me they shut off my car because I was a day late," said Gertrude, a customer of Main's.

Main says there's a privacy issue involving the devices.

"There are thousands of cars in the valley that have the tracking device on them these dealers can get on the computer and locate that vehicle they know where customers are at all times," said Main.

He says it's easy for dealers to take advantage of customers, whom they know cannot afford cars.

"So either they're going to make a profit by repossessing that vehicle or they're going to make a profit by putting that car back on the car lot," he said.

Gertrude says she was told in advance her vehicle could be disabled for non payment after the devices was removed she says she drove down to pay her bill the next day.

"It pretty much saved me and saved my job too," she said.

"The customers agree to have this installed in their car, this is in their contract if they try to disable this device that means they're in breach of their contract," said Lacapra.

Main charges 25 dollars for inspection and 25 to 50 dollars for a removal.

Phoenix Police say they are not aware of a statute prohibiting the car companies from putting the devices on or people disabling them.

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