What Is Volkswagen Car-Net, and Is It Free?
Volkswagen has taken every measure possible to ensure the safety of its customers. That’s quite evident from VW cars’ array of safety features, including braking and stability systems, airbags, crumple zones, Isofix child-safety fixings, and VW’s IQ.Drive system. The German automaker has also implemented anti-theft systems in partnership with Volkswagen Car-Net to help drivers protect their VW cars.
However, the company that offers GPS tracking services for Volkswagen recently faced criticism after delaying its services in a carjacking incident that endangered a woman and her child. We’ll cover more on that shortly, including what Volkswagen Car-Net is and what it costs.
VW Car-Net delayed emergency tracking services until a fee was paid
On Feb. 23, 2023, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois received a call from a 34-year-old woman reporting her stolen Volkswagen vehicle with her two-year-old child inside. The deputy chief contacted Volkswagen Car-Net requesting to track the car remotely since the carjackers had already deactivated the vehicle tracker.
However, the tracking company delayed tracking services, saying they couldn’t do that until a $150 subscription fee was paid, according to Business Insider. Volkswagen termed the incident a “serious breach of the process,” and it’s addressing the situation with the parties involved. This incident occurred in Libertyville, Illinois, and the authorities rescued the two-year-old child in the neighboring city of Waukegan without assistance from Volkswagen Car-Net. The police later recovered the stolen VW in a parking lot.
What is Volkswagen Car-Net, and how much does it cost?
Volkswagen Car-Net is an in-car connectivity suite provided by Volkswagen designed to help VW owners stay connected while on the road. Car-Net uses cellular and GPS technology to deliver real-time data and functionality to drivers via mobile-based applications. With this feature, you can remotely lock and unlock your car, monitor the vehicle’s status, and even ignite the engine straight from your smartphone app.
This innovative connectivity system is also useful for safety and security, with features such as emergency assistance, automatic crash notification, and stolen vehicle location services. Volkswagen of America has been upgrading Car-Net’s features and function. In August 2021, Volkswagen Media reported the German carmaker’s launch of Car-Net Carrier of Choice in partnership with Verizon and T-Mobile to offer in-car Wi-Fi hotspots for unlimited internet access while driving.
Volkswagen Car-Net provides its connectivity service on a yearly-subscription basis for up to five years. If you own a 2020 or later model and want to install Car-Net for safety and security, you can expect to pay $159 annually. However, if you want to use the system as a Wi-Fi hotspot, you’ll pay a monthly subscription fee of $20.00.
Alternative aftermarket vehicle tracking devices
To protect your car from theft, investing in a tracking device that you can depend on when you want to locate your vehicle is crucial. You can consider many options, including the Bouncie GPS Car Tracker, which is perfect for budget drivers looking for an accurate means of locating their cars or loved ones on the road. Bouncie transmits real-time data using 4G LTE, can connect to the OBD-II port, and comes with an expansive mobile app.
However, if tracking your stolen car is your primary reason for investing in a tracker, purchasing the LandAirSea 54 GPS Tracker would be best. A battery-powered tracking device, this GPS tracker provides accurate real-time data on your vehicle’s location, typically delivering coordinates within a 6-foot radius. The lowest monthly subscription fee is $19.95, although an annual plan might cost up to $270.
Alternatively, you can choose Tracki 4G Mini GPS Tracker. One advantage of this GPS vehicle tracker is its versatility. You can attach it to your vehicle using a magnet, keychain, belt clip, or lanyard. It comes with a rechargeable battery and provides tracking updates every 15 seconds with accuracy within 50 ft of the device’s location. According to Motor1, Tracki 4G Mini GPS Tracker costs about $20, while the monthly subscription ranges from $9.95 to $19.95.