Sharhonda Herald knew something was wrong the day she received a call from the dealership where she purchased her vehicle back in 2010.
Herald says, "I didn't know until they called me and asked me why are you getting the truck fixed and I'm like why am I getting the truck fixed and that's how I knew they had it. "
Herald says the used car dealership knew where her car was because there was a GPS on it...a tracking device more car lots and sub-prime lenders are using in some cases making it a requirement to get credit for a car...that's if you're credit is not that great or there's been a repossession on your record.
"That's like an invasion of privacy for them to know where you're going at all times," says Herald.
But Herald admits she agreed to the GPS tracker on her second vehicle she purchased this year but eventually lost. In that case her paperwork shows the funding or finance company required a GPS tracking system and a consent form. It's the price she had to pay if she wanted the car with less than perfect credit.
Herald says, "just because your credit is not good doesn't mean you can't go somewhere else and possibly get a decent car without all that hassle."
A car salesman who initially agreed then declined to go on camera told FOX 26 his lot and two of their finance companies require GPS tracking to protect their interests. He says in the past they've decide on a case by case bases. They look at whether a buyer has a repo on their record or just dismal credit.
FOX 26 Legal Analyst Christ Tritico says, "this takes advantage of people who have no options in life and they're forced to live with this."
Tritico may shun the GPS practice but he says as long as a customer has agreed to the device the car lots and or the finance companies are not doing anything wrong.
He says, "it's illegal and unlawful to place a tracking device on somebody's vehicle without their permission but in these cases though they're agreeing by contract that they can place that on and monitor their movements. There is no privacy interest because you waived whatever privacy interests you had."
National reports indicate dealers only activated the tracking if a buyer is delinquent or near default..In Herald's case her first vehicle the GPS tracking system was activate at the repair shop...because it was not her usual pattern.