Volkswagen Refused to Help Track Car with Kidnapped Child Until Payment of Service

In an incident 40 miles north of Chicago, USA last Saturday, Volkswagen apparently refused to help police track a car with a kidnapped toddler inside until the fee for the vehicle’s tracking device was paid.

6-month-pregnant Taylor Shepherd had came home from the pet store and had brought one of her children into the home. When she came back out to get her two-year-old toddler out of her  she saw a man climb out of a white BMW and then try to get into her car.

Taylor tried to fend the carjacker off but was knocked to the ground. The man then stole the Volkswagen with the child still inside. As both cars fled the scene, one of them ran over her. She was able to call 911 despite her injuries.

The police started the search for the Volkswagen. Detectives contacted Volkswagen Car Net’s emergency to get the location of the vehicle knowing it has a GPS locator. The employee who attended to the call confirmed the vehicle could be tracked but, because the trial period for the software in the car had ended, declined to do it until payment was made to continue the service.

The employee’s insistence on following policy meant a further 30-minute delay as the detectives scrambled to get a credit card to make the payment. But even before they could get the information from Volkswagen, the toddler was spotted abandoned and unharmed at a parking lot. The vehicle was recovered later at another one.

Volkswagen is of course putting the blame on someone else. “(The company) has a procedure in place with a third-party provider for Car-Net Support Services involving emergency requests from law enforcement,” a spokesperson said. “They have executed this process successfully in previous incidents. Unfortunately, in this instance, there was a serious breach of the process. We are addressing the situation with the parties involved.”

Increasingly, we are having to pay for the little things that really ought to come with the purchase price of the vehicle. Heated seats, video-recording capability, improved car acceleration and, in this instance, safety now come with a subscription fee. Welcome to microtransactional hell,

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