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Auto Theft Prevention/engine immobilizer/alarm


QUESTION: I bought a new car and the customer service rep is trying to tell me that an engine immobilizer is an alarm. I paid $395 for an alarm what can I do? I live in another state next to the one the dealership is in?  I did not catch this when purchased the car.

It is also a Toyota and I wanted the Toyota VIP alarm system.. I don't know if they even sell (use) these... they put security systems on the cars sitting on the lot by Rockledge Securities... and these can be activated when the car is sold, if the new car buyer pays for it.

I never heard of that company before and I bought this car through internet negotiation and have written proof I asked for an alarm...and was told they could put on  the next day for $395.00.  But I did not catch that they did not do this when car was actually purchased... should I contact general manager or Better Business Bureau or what?

I want a Toyota alarm or I want them to pay my local dealer to put one on, or I want them to put one on when I bring the car back to the area for free Toyota care oil change and check up or I want $395 refund of my money.

ANSWER: Hello,

You have been "Spiffed." A spiff is a dealer add on and from my experience with another well known junk in my opinion KARR was commonly used. You were lucky at $395. I have seen these crap charged up to $2,000.00 in the financing, just like the VIN etching, Pro lock, Stargard and a variety of inferior junk. Some of these products had an installed price to the dealer for as little as $7.
In my opinion, this is fraud and theft to the unknowing. Now do you realize as to why there are mega-dealerships!
My first question to the salesman has been this: "What are you saying about the effectiveness of the factory installed so-called anti-theft system then? Why am I paying for the factory installed unit if it won't protect the vehicle from being stolen?"

OK, I would suggest that you go to the general manager and be very nice, but tell him you do not want this and to put in the dummy key or whatever the use to make the difference between being active and inactive since this is put on all vehicles. Commonly the customer was paying the ridiculous price for a couple of plastic keys that plugged into a socket.

Request a refund. If met with resistance, you could state that you will find a local TV station to investigate your situation, which could be very costly on PR. Of course I would be more than glad to assist you. The information on this site is very dated about me and if you send an email to I will send yo my condensed 21 page CV (resume) illustrating I have qualified as an expert in these matters in 20 state as well as federal numerous times in criminal and civil arenas.
I have been involved in class actions with this dealer installed "security" junk too.

Please feel free when contacting local TV to give them my CV and I would be more than glad to speak with them about these dealer ripoffs.
Hopefully, you can show the general manager the light and by the way, I worked for dealers for 11 years and I know all about these scams to the unknowing consumer. The GM might reconsider once they see my background and that I am behind you once you show them my CV.

Let me know what happens.

There is no such thing as anti theft! In fact, most deterrents are not worth the time or the money.
Since transponder systems (Chip in key) were introduced, joy riding is no longer a factor for kids. That did thwart this event. However, a professional such as myself, or an active automotive locksmith or a tow truck driver, not with some loud stinky big flatbed, but a common ordinary tow truck with a wrap arond wheel lift can have the vehicle in 60 seconds or less! The tow truck driver picking up the power wheels does not even have to get out of the tow truck.
I made a video displaying from the time the wheel lift was engaged around the wheels and the vehicle lifted, the time was 5 seconds!

Here is the disadvantage of having the factory so-called anti theft system: If stolen your insurance company does not investigate it as a theft, because most investigators are ignorant and believe that these vehicles are impossible to steal. You will be investigated for fraud. You may think, no problem, I will just tell the truth. See how far that gets you!
I have been dealing with auto theft claims for 2 decades. I represent insureds being investigated. As an expert witness I have given hundreds of hours of sworn testimony, commonly to unethical unprofessional opposing insurance defense attorneys. They are extremely good about changing one's words around. I survived this crap for 18 years and can spin anything on them. Just did it again in court last week!
An insured under investigation has no chance and are the sheep going to the wolves. I teach my clients how to act. How to answer. There is more than one way of telling the truth!

I commonly script my clients before an Examination under Oath. This is where everything stated previously from the recorded statement, the interviews are compared and twisted by an attorney for the company. The insured goes to the EUO commonly on the carrier's turf. Present are the attorney, the investigator and a court reporter.

Many times the insured makes a fatal mistake and hires an attorney because they feel they are being accused. Of course they are, but hiring an attorney during an investigation is a total waste of money, because they know nothing about auto theft investigation protocol and better yet, they have no legal standing in an investigation! In other words, if you are asked a question, the attorney can object, but you still have to answer the question.
The investigator's job, the lawyer's job is not to find the thief, but to build a case against you. The questions may have nothing to do with the theft. Late on a payment 2 years ago? That was the financial motivation for you to submit the claim. You couldn't afford the vehicle!
I represent my clients very well and more and more commonly, because of m consulting, the carrier pays the claim after the EUO even though they had such compelling evidence to deny. We also handle denied claims across the US and Canada.

To this point in time, because of my reputation and that it would not look good for a non-attorney to win in court against a seasoned defense team, we have a 100% success rate. Attorneys who know nothing about auto theft, forensics, and auto theft investigation protocol have no clue!
I serve attorneys as a consultant a expert witness and I am the guy they go to.
Auto Theft Claims Master--

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: follow up. I got an almost immediate response from the salesperson after I emailed the general manager and said I am considering going to a local TV station and having the report talk about consumer fraud at car dealerships. My salesperson emailed me with a return receipt, called my home phone and cell phone within 1/2 hour after I sent email.

I emailed part of the form document sent by the customer service manager.. to set up Toyota Care... the free maintenance stuff provided by the parent company for 24 months, he was setting up an oil change. Anyway this talked about customer satisfaction and how it was of upmost importance to the dealer etc. etc.

I had emailed the salesperson and got no response around Sept 9...

Anyway, I probably still have been Spiffed but they responded to my question... he did say there is some additional kind of tint on my car.   I still don't understand exactly what it is or does... there is a clear film  that some Toyota dealers will put on various parts of the body of the car... to help give it extra protection from scratches, rocks being thrown etc. So maybe it is kind of like that only for the glass.. and I do agree with what I think you will say, that you don't need the extra film  put on the body  But I will get more clarification about what this is...
My husband and I never asked for the extra tint or new anything about it. He said it was something that they did in Phoenix that most customers wanted...( not sure I believe that either) This cost $395

My salesperson did say there is an alarm on the car and it is a Rockledge Securities or whatever I said it was before.  He said he would hunt for a manual for the alarm... that is one question I asked him before, the customer service rep and the ask the mechanic... who passed the buck on my questions. I said I had asked various people about a manual for the alarm and they all ignored the question. I started on Sept 9 and by Sept 22, the mechanic emailed me.. with his answer...

He did answer another question that I had asked though... the manual said some of the cars had a metalized tint on them and when you park the car to keep the windows shut... if they were open a fire might start... due to the sun, and magnification of it and heat generated. He said my car did not have that kind of tint.


Tint keeps the vehicle from bursting into fire huh? That is like installing rust proofing on a plastic car like a Corvette!
Honda dealers would inform owners of their vehicle if anything after market was installed on their vehicles, it would void the warranty.
I guess whatever one can get the buyer to believe--
As for your dealer installed so-called security, I would suggest you tell them to either remove it, or disable it and refund your $395, or find out the cost of the factory transponder immobilizer and disable/remove and give you credit, because you do not need both systems.
What does a salsman know about theft and security? Nothing other than the value of the commission he gets for selling it!
What does the technician know about theft? Nothing, and only uses the talking points indoctrinated in him by the manufacturer that with the factory installed system, the vehicle is impossible to steal.

The point being that you have caught them with their hand in the cookie jar. Possibly go to the owner of the dealership. Tell them they have one golden opportunity to give you back your $395 before I delve into the spiffs they are selling to their customers as a "need."
Please print up my CV (Resume) and give it to the owner and direct them to my site where it we be seen I simply have no use for misrepresentation, no matter who does it and how they do it.
It's obvious that the salesperson, mechanic and general manager are so naive to know there is no use for this product because it is redundant to the factory system.
Here is the deal: These are pt on every vehicle because it prevents vehicles from being stolen off their lot, however this s 90' thinking because the 2000s brought factory installed transponders (chip in the key).
The next reason was that since already installed and the only difference between a working system and a non-working system was the difference between having a key or a dummy key. In other words, you paid $395 for two keys worth about $.05. The dummy can be installed in seconds and you should be $395 richer!

The biggest problem s that we are still dealing with the 50s mentality. One would trust the dealer that represented the manufacturer. It was assumed that the dealer knew everything about the car and they were the ones that would not rip you off. Times have changed. In my opinion, dealers are the biggest rip off these days and they can't be trusted. The salesperson will convince a person that the $2,000 window etching will prevent the vehicle from being stolen. Customers believed this until their car was stolen!
Look, if people get sucked into this stuff< I can't take on the world's problems, but you came to me and I will be glad to expose what happened to you if need be, which could be a very bad thing for the dealer.
As stated previously, I have successfully worked with attorneys in class action cases against dealers for selling worthless crap like this on numerous occasions.

Quit dealing with the low-level henchmen and go to the owner of the dealership.
As I said as well, write me at and request my CV. Put that in front of the owner when asking for your $395 back and see where it goes.  

Auto Theft Prevention

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Rob Painter, ASE, CFL, CFEI


My background in auto theft is extensive. I have been directly involved in the repair of over 10,000 theft recovered vehicles. I also do insurance investigation as to how a vehicle was last operated. My clients are insurance companies and attorneys. Was featured in the A & E auto theft documentary "Stealing Wheels" July 26, 2000. Has consulted with Daimler Chrysler steering column engineers to make their steering columns harder to defeat. Holds patent # 6,039,140 for 8 different variations to protect air bags from theft.


ROB PAINTER, ASE, CFL, CFEI Forensic Vehicle Component Analyst Diplomate, Board Certified Forensic Examiner ASE Certified Auto, Collision, Med/Hvy/Duty Truck Technician Certified Forensic Locksmith Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator Certified Forensic Auto Theft Examiner Certified Auto Theft and Fraud Expert P.O. Box 190 Big Bend, WI 53103 Phone (414) 698-9696 Fax (262) 662-1352 As per federal court rules of evidence (702) (Daubert) my testimony has qualified me as: Auto Theft and Fraud Expert Forensic Vehicle Analyst Fire Origin and Cause Expert In the trial transcript of Holiday vs Progressive Insurance Company (March 12, 2002?Eugene, Oregon) with Holiday being my client-named ?the expert for experts.? BUSINESS EXPERIENCE Founder of the ?Forensic Institute of Auto Theft Analysis? (January 2002). This is the training school that will set the standards in determining the last operation of a reported stolen vehicle-burned or unburned. Much of my testing and procedures have been accepted as the guide for the forensic community. 1986 opened Auto Recovery Specialists Inc., providing exclusive repair of theft recovered and vandalized vehicles. The initial concept of the business was to return vehicles to their original shape before the theft, vandalism or fire. In 1987 bought the rights to the theft deterrent known as the ?Chicago Collar?. Duties include complete component replacement: dash, stereo system, interior, locks and coding, rebuilding steering columns, repairing and installing vehicle security system components (factory and after market), engine components, body repair, glass replacement, repair and service of air conditioning components, brake and suspension repair, and replacement, wiring harnesses etc. to return vehicle to pre-theft condition Complete reconstruction. During the past 17 years directly involved in the repair of over 10,000 theft-recovered and fire damaged Personally examined and rebuilt thousands of steering columns on both import and domestic vehicles Internationally acknowledged as expert in auto theft including court, consulting with insurance companies, attorneys and law enforcement. Consultant on steering columns, locks, stereo systems and vehicle security for Special Investigation Units for many large insurance carriers during the past eight years. Consulting services include but not limited to: How a vehicle was last operated (with or without keys in burned or unburned vehicles), Origin and Cause of vehicle fires, and vehicle defects. Provides services as a consultant and researcher to attorneys and insurance companies, and private industry throughout the US in cases related to vehicles. Has worked with crime prevention officers throughout the US establishing training programs designed to protect the public from becoming victims of auto theft. PATENT: 3/21/00 issued patent# 6,039,140 for 8 different variations of airbag anti-theft devices. PUBLICATIONS Currently authors articles and test reports on an ongoing basis for SIUs and the forensic/vehicle fire industry. Published author: (1,297 slide training course) Auto Theft/ Fraud Training Course) ?The Modern Forensic Approach to Auto Theft Investigation.? (January, 2001) Author: ?Variables to Be Considered In Vehicle Fire Investigation after Suppression.? (Insurance publication-November 2001) Author: ?Ford Magnesium Steering Columns and the Results to Ignition Components after a Fire?. Article for peer review from the fire and forensic community. (November 2001) Author: ?The Truth About GM VATS.? (Article) (November 2001) Author: ?The Truth About GM PASSLOCK TM? (Article) (November 2001) Author:? Auto Theft Investigation: Hollywood vs. Reality? (Article) (February 2001) For the John Cooke Fraud Report. Published author: (Manual) ?Forensic Vehicle Fire/ Arson and Auto Theft Investigation? (October 2000) Published author: (Article) ?Petty Claims? for the John Cooke Fraud Report (October, 1998) Published author (Manual) ?AUTO THEFT: LET THE TRUTH BE KNOWN!? (1998) (Previously distributed by Barnes & Nobel) Co-authored the investigation manual, ?Surreptitious Entry & Auto Theft & Burn & the Investigator.? (1999) Authored test questions on the subject of steering columns and vehicle security for CFL designation to be given by the International Association of Investigative Locksmiths. January, 2000 Published author: (Manual) ?Saginaw Steering Columns-What Has Not Been Told? Training manual for fire investigators. (March 2000) Published (Article) ?Beyond The Lock? (May 2000) Published Author: (Article) Fraud Defense Network-August, 2000 Edition-?Melting Steering Column Tests.? Published author: (Test Report) ?Burned Toyota Steering Column Testing to Determine How Last Operated?. Tool marks and procedures. (December 1999) Currently at the FBI Crime Lab in Washington DC and the US Army Crime Lab in Atlanta, GA for peer review. ACCOMPLISHMENTS Defeated the ?unstealable? Ford Securilock transponder system for a court case 10/10/00. They said it could not be done! Primary designer of a state of the art ?bait? car for a police department to catch car thieves. Worked with The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration and discovered a potential fire hazard on a vehicle and determined origin and cause of under hood fires on this type of vehicle. Featured as ?Auto Theft Expert? in the A & E auto theft documentary ?Stealing Wheels? that aired July 26, 2000. Contacted by Sears and Edelman Marketing to be a national spokesman for an anti theft device for vehicles. (November 1999) Invited to provide evaluation and consulting to steering column engineers at Daimler Chrysler Corporation in Auburn Hills, MI (10/19/99-10/22/99). The purpose of this project was to demonstrate how steering column locking mechanisms could be defeated without the use of a key and how to reinforce the columns against theft. Court Qualified as an Auto Theft Expert and my videos of defeating columns were also accepted by a Cleveland, Ohio Court in October 1999 as a valid piece of evidence. Contacted by Disney Touchstone Pictures for technical assistance in making the movie ?Gone in 60 Seconds? (March 1999) CONSULTANT FOR FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS ? Former contributor for The Insurance News Network (Auto theft and prevention) includes heading a forum for the public on how to protect their vehicles for 3+ years. ? Former editor and consultant for the public on matters involving auto theft and prevention 2000-2001 on the web at ? The Insurance Career Center (Auto theft and fraud). ? National Association of Investigative Specialists (Auto theft and fraud) ? Expert Find (Auto theft and fraud} TECHNICAL EXPERIENCE ? ASE (National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence) Certified in Auto: brakes, steering and suspension, engine repair, manual drive train and axles, air conditioning. Med/Heavy duty truck: gasoline engine repair, electrical/electronic components. Collision: elec.....

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