Risks Associated With Used CarsJune 23, 2017
Anyone who has ever forgotten where they parked their car at a busy shopping mall or parking garage knows how frustrating it can be to have to roam around searching for their car until they finally find it. Fortunately, there are apps available that allow you to use your smartphone to pinpoint the location of your car. This is just one example of how technology is making our cars smarter and more technologically advanced than ever. Unfortunately, this can cause problems when it comes to used cars. Many people do not realize that when purchasing a used car, the vehicle may have an app that can allow the previous owner to access the car from a mobile device.
According to Charles Henderson, an IBM researcher who heads up the firm’s security testing group, cars have become extremely smart; but not so smart that they know when a vehicle has been sold to a new owner. Henderson’s group tested four major automobile manufacturers and found that they all had apps that would allow the previous owners to gain access to the vehicle by using their smartphone. Henderson shared his experience at a security conference, telling the audience that, even after removing his personal information from the services in the car before selling it, he was able to control the car for years using the app.
Henderson explained that the dealership that sold the car is the only place that can track who has access to the app. Even a full factory reset will not revoke mobile access. To do this, the consumer should go to a factory-authorized dealership where they can manually remove individuals from the app.
Car owners are not the only ones affected by these types of security issues. Home buyers can also run into problems if the house has connected devices. Like used cars, security cameras, smart refrigerators, and smart lights can all retain data from the previous owner.
How to Protect Yourself When Buying a Used Car
According to Henderson, there are ways to protect yourself if you have purchased a used car. Always check the “user management” setting on the smart device to see who can access data. Ask to speak to someone at the car dealership who can explain how the mobile apps work and how to remove past users. They can also confirm whether the previous owners are no longer on the app. Ultimately, Henderson recommends that consumers who are not particularly tech savvy to consider buying a new car rather than deal with the potential complications that can come with purchasing a used vehicle. It is also important to consider if an older model, used car has as many safety features as newer vehicles, therefore reducing the risk of being involved in a car wreck.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Clients
If you or a loved one recently purchased a used car and you have been involved in a car accident, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will determine whether the previous owner’s access to your vehicle could have caused your accident. If we find evidence of negligence, our dedicated team will hold the responsible parties accountable and ensure that you receive that maximum financial compensation for your injuries. To arrange a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.