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Beware Of Remote Starters And Do-it-yourself Modifications

I often receive calls from consumers and vehicle owners as to problems they are having with their vehicles, which are caused by after-market or do-it-yourself (DIY) modifications such as remote starters. Such modifications can give the manufacturer or car dealer an excuse to deny warranty repairs blaming other defects upon the modifications. Such arguments may or may not be correct and the answer depends upon the causal relation between the subject product defect and the after-market modification to the vehicle. Such matters are further addressed in another blog on this web site.

More importantly, certain modifications to vehicles, especially those done by do-it-yourselfers can be very dangerous. A prime example involves remote starters, especially when added to manual transmission vehicles that could be started while the vehicle is in gear. I personally witnessed a very dangerous situation on May 8, 2011 while attending a Sunday morning car show at the Captree Boat Basin in Suffolk County, New York when the owner of Mazda sports car had accidentally started his vehicle while in gear by remote while away from the car, which then sped through a crowd of spectators, knocked over a few motorcycles, barely missed hitting several cars, and then while the owner was able to jump into the vehicle attempting to stop it, it sped across the grass and flew into the water instantly submerging between two (2) commercial fishing boats. Miraculously, no one was injured and the driver was able to escape from the submerged vehicle with the assistance of some good samaritans / car enthusiasts. If I did not see it for myself, I might not believe the story, but as they say, “a photograph is worth a thousand words” so I have annexed some images from my old cell phone of this event. There were many Long Islanders there that cold morning who were witness to the event, and luckily none were injured, but all know the dangers of remote car starters.

So my advice to the reader is if you want to avoid potentially dangerous situations and denial of warranty claims, then do not add a remote starter to your vehicle.

Click the images below to view a larger image.

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