March 3 – The Ford Motor Company recently applied for a patent that would allow the manufacturer to remotely shut off air conditioning, the radio and even lock doors in vehicles.
The patent actually says this could be technology that would go after people who are delinquent on car payments.
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “This would be a major, major change in the way collection work would operate in the United States if Ford gets this patent and if Ford would choose to exercise it.”
“Good,” Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM said.
“I’m torn on that,” Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM admitted. “Part of me is like if you’re going to be that much of a deadbeat, but then again we have a whole country that’s so schizophrenic is not exactly the right term but people understand what I mean. They don’t make sense because we have homeless people to whom we’re giving money and cell phones and subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon. That’s happening in California. We’re telling so many people you can be a deadbeat and still get all the kinds of goodies and stuff that should be rewarded or people who earn. Then we’re telling people if you buy a car, we can turn off your air conditioning if you’re not making your payments. I think the psychology of all of this, it’s just insanity.”
Ryan said, “I’m surprised the ACLU will not get involved with this patent here. That’s very discriminatory.”
“Especially if we can find out that there’s a racial gap,” Jansen said. “Then they will absolutely come after that.”
It’s possible the key fob could also be disabled, so there could be an escalating series of malfunctioning equipment if a person doesn’t make car payments.
Ryan added, “Just imagine if there’s an elderly person that is not making a car payment and you turn off their air conditioning and then they die from heat stroke. You can write this stuff here. And what’s a young person going to do. Do I need my air conditioning or do I want my radio? Do they break it down into age brackets and how much are you using your air conditioning and how much are you using your radio? It is fascinating. I think some law enforcement have engaged OnStar to either slow down or turn off a ride.”
Jansen noted, “It’s scary thinking of government or officials having that kind of power. It’s all kinds of slippery slope issues.”
Barkdoll agreed, “It’s a very slippery slope and it’s debatable. I think we’re pointing out the various dilemmas with this, but the idea that people in an office building maybe in Detroit remotely disabling features in your car if you’re not making payments is really unprecedented.”
Ryan said, “Listen I made my car payments. I made my school loan payments. I worked a lot of jobs and if Ford is trying to keep the payroll going here, why not? I’m in on this one. I suppose, right up until I’m not.”
Barkdoll chuckled, “Or they make a mistake with your car.”
Ryan said, “Right? Do I need that hassle? No, I paid my bill. I’m sorry, Mr. Ryan, we don’t see that in here…”