All because the owner didn't buy one feature.
Having your car stolen is one of the worst feelings in the world. The good news is that there are a lot of preventative and location finding technologies out there, many of which are offered directly from the automaker. There's only one hitch: you have to pay for them as extra features. On top of that, not every car buyer is made aware they even exist, let alone available for purchase. Such is the situation of Laydh Ablhd.
According to Global News, Ablhd purchased a new 2019 Honda Accord recently only to discover one morning it had been stolen from his driveway at around 5 a.m. Fortunately, video security footage from a neighbor's camera revealed the three thieves breaking in and driving away, and Ablhd immediately called the police. Both he and the police officer called Honda Canada after realizing there was a good possibility the stolen Accord could be tracked thanks to modern tech installed in the vehicle.
The good news is that they were correct. A Honda call center operator told Ablhd and the police officer he could see the Accord's location. The bad news? Because Ablhd did not purchase HondaLink, the operator refused to reveal the car's location – despite the fact this was also a police investigation. Honda Canada describes HondaLink as an "emergency response system… designed to get you the help you need when you need it most." HondaLink is also available in the US. Why didn't Ablhd buy HondaLink when he bought the car? Because the dealership didn't even mention it. "I would have bought it," he said if he had known its many benefits.
The police officer's pleas with HondaLink to reveal the car's location amounted to nothing, even after being transferred to a supervisor. "Get a warrant" was the supervisor's response. Ablhd, out of options, decided right then and there to pay $148 CAD for a HondaLink subscription but by then it was too late; the Accord's signal had disappeared.
Not only is Ablhd angry about the entire situation, he also doesn't plan to buy another Honda. Honda Canada, in response to a Global News inquiry, said proper protocols were followed.
"This customer did not have an active HondaLink subscription, which is required to locate the vehicle," a company spokesperson stated. "Without an active subscription, the police would have to present a warrant to activate the location services on the vehicle and no such warrant was provided. At no time was Honda or its HondaLink provider aware of the location of this vehicle."
On the plus side, Honda agreed to reimburse Ablhd the $148.