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Bill Would Let Lenders Use Tracking Devices on Nevada Cars

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PHOTO: If state lawmakers approve a bill now under consideration, consumers in Nevada could have their vehicles shut off remotely if their loan payment is late. Photo courtesy of U.S. Energy Department.
PHOTO: If state lawmakers approve a bill now under consideration, consumers in Nevada could have their vehicles shut off remotely if their loan payment is late. Photo courtesy of U.S. Energy Department.
April 14, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Nevada lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow lenders to remotely shut off a person's vehicle if he or she is a borrower late with their loan payment.

Assembly Bill 228 authorizes a person who finances the sale or lease of a motor vehicle to install a device which can be used to remotely locate or disable it.

Sophia Medina is an attorney with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, a group that opposes the bill.

"It's a starter interruption device, so basically, it can turn off your vehicle," she says. "They're saying if you're late with a payment, they're going to make it so that your car won't turn on."

Medina says the bill would allow vehicles to be shut off if a loan payment is 10 days late the first time, and five days late thereafter.

According to Medina, current state law gives consumers 30 days before a loan is considered to be in default. Supporters of AB 228 say agreeing to the stricter terms could make it easier for people with poor credit to get financing for a car loan.

Medina says another major concern is the tracking devices collect and store information about the travel habits of consumers, which could then be sold to other companies.

"They can track your whereabouts, they can track everywhere you go," she says. "And they have no regulation on what they do with the data."

AB 228 was already approved in committee, and is expected to face a full Assembly vote in the next few days.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV