Volkwagen Provides 5 Years of Free Vehicle Tracking After a Mishandled Carjacking

Earlier this year, Volkswagen announced changes to its Car-Net security system after a serious breach in process delayed law enforcement from using the service to locate a vehicle stolen with the victim’s child still inside. Beginning on June 1, 2023, Volkswagen began providing 5 years of free Car-Net Safe & Secure connected emergency services in the U.S. — including automatic crash notifications, emergency assistance, stolen vehicle locator, and anti-theft alerts — for model year 2020 to 2023 vehicles. On Feb. 23, 2023, a Volkswagen Atlas belonging to a pregnant mother was stolen from a driveway in a violent carjacking in Libertyville, Illinois, with the woman’s 2-year-old child still inside. When local law enforcement contacted Volkswagen’s Car-Net service to obtain the vehicle’s tracking information to find the abducted toddler, a representative informed the police that the vehicle’s free trial had lapsed, and refused to help until a $150 fee was paid the reinstate the coverage. The detective had to work out getting a credit card number and then call the representative back to pay the $150. After a 30-minute delay, the representative finally provided the GPS location of the vehicle. Thankfully, the missing child was located by police officers, unharmed in the vehicle, which was abandoned in a parking lot. The pregnant mother was taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition. When Volkswagen officials were made aware of the incident, they issued a statement: “Volkswagen must and will do better for everyone that trusts our brand and for the law enforcement officials tasked with protecting us.” They followed up in righting their wrong by providing free service for 5 years.