“Hey, auto dealer: where’s my car?”
Frank Stati said he was asked this question in March after taking the Nissan Ultima to a dealership in 2017 for repairs.
He told Global News that his backup camera was failing intermittently and he needed to book an appointment. But when he checked the insurance company’s surveillance app on his mobile phone and saw his vehicle away from home late at night, Satti said he was worried.
“My initial thought was maybe someone stole the thing,” he said.
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The Milton resident switched insurance providers and agreed to install a vehicle transponder that would monitor their driving habits. Stati said he referred the device to a service consultant after getting off from Milton Nissan’s car.
Statie said he was surprised why his car was 90 kilometers away from the dealership that evening. He said tracking data provided via the app showed that his car was over the speed limit for most of the trip to Woodstock near Highway 401.
“It was driving at insane speeds … up to 148 kilometers per hour,” Stutty said, noting that the braking period was consistent.
Global News reviewed the tracking data provided by Statty’s app. This showed that the vehicle reached 148 km / h and was above the 100 km / h speed limit for most of the journey on the highway.
Stutty said he believed the vehicle was stolen and called the Hallett Regional Police. An officer from another police department showed up at the Woodstock location provided by the app in the early hours of the morning.
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It turned out that the vehicle was being operated by one of Milton Nissan’s service technicians.
“We were allowed to take the vehicle home. We reported that it is out of town and has three witnesses, “said Tim Hoogers, the dealer’s operating partner.
He said it is common for technicians to take customers’ vehicles home to assess problems.
“Sometimes if we can’t diagnose a vehicle, we’ll ask a consumer, ‘Can we keep the vehicle at home and see if we can diagnose overnight?” It is not uncommon in the automotive industry if you are struggling to try to diagnose it, ”said Hugars.
“Should we get it in writing?” Obviously yes, we have never had an incident where this has been an issue. “
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Statie said that he allowed the vehicle to be kept overnight but never agreed to the vehicle so that the vehicle could not be ejected from traveling to Milton or about 200 kilometers to assess the rear camera.
He said he is also saddened that the vehicle was driven at a high speed – data that would be seen by his new auto insurance provider and could be used by the insurer to calculate the insurance premium that he would be paid in the future should do.
Statie said he had not received an apology from the dealership, adding the service manager also asked him to leave when he came in to discuss the issue.
“He kicked me out of the office. He said that he was going to call the police. They said that I was tracking their employee illegally, ”he said.
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Statie said the dealership did not replace the fuel consumed by its employee during the long drive.
When Global News contacted Nissan Canada about the incident, the manufacturer said that Statty’s car was “not used for a private trip” by a dealership employee.
“Customer service is an absolute priority for all of us,” said Didier Marsud, director of corporate communications at Nissan.
Two months after the driving incident, Statetti’s backup camera is still not working properly.
Nissan Canada told Global News that it is arranging to inspect the camera at another dealership.
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