As auto lenders reach out to those with poor credit, they are increasingly using starter interruption devices, technology that allows them to remotely disable a car, to spur timely payment.
The device is called a Starter Interrupt Device, and while driving in 2012, T. Candice Smith’s car was suddenly shut off on a busy interstate highway. The 31-year-old wasn’t aware at the time that her car was equipped with one of the devices, and her lender had cut her engine off because she had missed a payment. Smith was almost involved in an accident when her engine turned off, and she and a friend had to push it quickly off the highway.
“I felt like even though I made my payments and was never late under my contract, these people could do whatever they wanted and there was nothing I could do to stop them,” said Smith to the New York Times.