Volkswagen Car-Net Response At Center of Carjacking Controversy

Hopefully this was an isolated incident

VW Atlas
A Volkwagen Atlas was carjacked, setting in motion a complex series of events.
Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

For car owners willing to pay for the cost of a subscription, it’s not hard to see why a program like Volkswagen’s Car-Net would be appealing. It allows vehicle owners to start different features remotely, keep an eye on speed and location when someone else is behind the wheel and contact emergency services in case of a crisis. The appeal of all of these features is eminently understandable — but a recent carjacking in Illinois pointed to some limitations in the system.

As Autoblog reports, a pair of carjackers stole a woman’s Volkswagen Atlas while one of her children was still inside. Local law enforcement reached out to Car-Net so that they could obtain tracking information for the vehicle. Here’s where things took a turn for the worst: the Car-Net representative told law enforcement that, because the driver was not a Car-Net subscriber, they couldn’t help.

Thankfully, both the child and the vehicle were eventually recovered. But the issue raised by the crime and its aftermath lingered — in other words, should Car-Net have assisted the sheriff’s deputies who were seeking to recover the stolen car?

According to a Volkswagen representative who spoke with AutoBlog, they absolutely should have. “Volkswagen has a procedure in place with a third-party provider for Car-Net Support Services involving emergency requests from law enforcement,” the representative said. “They have executed this process successfully in previous incidents.”

The representative went on to suggest that the matter was being looked into internally. “Unfortunately, in this instance, there was a serious breach of the process,” they added. “We are addressing the situation with the parties involved.” Hopefully the matter is resolved before the next time someone finds themselves in an unthinkable situation like this one.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!