Consumers have been concerned about vehicle theft for many years. In response, dealers have sold a variety of theft recovery solutions as part of their menu of F&I products and services. These devices, however, have had many drawbacks for dealers and buyers alike. But a new generation of wireless solutions promise dealers all the benefits of theft detection and recovery without any of the hassles, risks and expenses associated with traditional, wired solutions. This gives dealers plenty of reasons to “cut the cord” and switch to the new generation of solutions, so let’s look at a few of those reasons.
Until now, wired theft recovery devices were almost always connected to the vehicle’s electrical system and battery, whether they were spliced directly into the wiring or connected through the onboard diagnostics (OBD2) port. Both systems are problematic for dealers and consumers.
Tracking devices wired directly to the electrical system usually require a technician at the dealership to spend 45 minutes or more connecting the device to the vehicle, costing on average $90 per installation. If the vehicle is sold and the buyer declines to purchase the unit, the dealership either has to let it drive off the lot and lose their investment (potentially hundreds of dollars!) or spend even more time and money removing the device from the car. That could mean a total loss of almost $250 for an unsold wired device!
Poor installation jobs also cause electrical problems, such as car battery drain or short circuits, because of incorrect wiring or device malfunctions. And because EV electrical systems are even touchier and EV batteries are critical to meeting promised vehicle range numbers, EV manufacturers are even beginning to forbid wired devices altogether, threatening to void warranties when they’re installed. The need to remove the device if not sold carries even more risk of electrical system damage with it, which is why many dealers don’t even try to do it and write off the devices as a loss.
OBD2-based devices are easier to install and remove, but they also have flaws. They too have the potential to impact the vehicle’s battery if they malfunction. And garage mechanics sometimes fail to reinstall ODB devices after using the port for diagnostics during service, rendering the device useless.
With theft recovery devices having such obvious technical and business drawbacks when connected to the vehicle’s electrical system, the need for a wireless unit became clear. But technology limitations on battery life didn’t make it feasible until today. A theft recovery device can’t rely on ordinary AA batteries or even a rechargeable battery. Both would require either the dealership of the consumer to swap out or recharge the batteries on a regular basis, and that’s just not reasonable or convenient.
But with improving battery technology and advanced power management, it’s now finally possible for a well-designed theft recovery device to function properly for years without having to swap or recharge its battery. And that was the challenge that Kudelski IoT took on when designing RecovR, part of a new generation of wireless theft recovery devices that solve all the problems mentioned above.
RecovR is a product of Kuldeski IoT, part of a Swiss/American corporation with 70 years of experience in security and technological innovation. That expertise is what made RecovR’s battery-powered breakthrough possible. But along with that technology advance come other real benefits for dealerships as well.
Because RecovR is wireless, it can be placed (without any installation!) in every vehicle on a large lot in less than a day. This saves tens of thousands of dollars per year on installation costs alone. It allows any size dealership to track their entire inventory at any time, getting vehicles from the car carrier into new owners’ garages more quickly, and effortlessly satisfying the requirements of flooring companies when they want audits.
RecovR sells cars faster. Rather than sending a salesperson out the door to hunt for a vehicle to show a prospective customer, it’s easy to check where each vehicle is located from the salesperson’s computer. Your salesperson can also see the vehicle is off the lot and how far away they are. No more running around the lot with a keyfob held up in the air while customers wait impatiently to meet their potential new car!
If RecovR is sold to a new car owner, it’s simply transferred to a permanent, hidden location and the industrial adhesive holds it firmly in place for the lifetime of the service. For dealers where RecovR is an optional sale, the unit can easily be put back into inventory, ready to be placed in the next new vehicle that arrives on the lot. This saves dealers hundreds of dollars per car compared to wired solutions, while giving them a valuable and profitable new product to sell their customers.
The advantages of wireless solutions are clear and numerous. Just as our telephones no longer have cords, why should our GPS tracking devices? Easier for the dealer, safer for the consumer, better for everyone.