Volkswagen has announced it's making its Car-Net Safe & Secure suite of connected and emergency services free for five years on cars built between the 2020 and 2023 model years. The news comes shortly after a carjacking incident involving an Atlas in the Chicago area.
Cat-Net Safe & Secure bundles several digital services, though what's included differs from model to model. Gasoline-powered cars benefit from automatic crash notifications, emergency assistance, a stolen vehicle locator, and anti-theft alerts. The electric ID.4 gets automatic crash notifications and emergency assistance. Emergency assistance can put the driver in contact with a Car-Net service center capable of giving the vehicle's location to emergency responders; automatic crash notification offers a similar service if it detects an accident.
Some of the functions included in Car-Net were designed with practicality in mind. For example, the Remote Access suite lets owners interact with their car via a smartphone; they can start and stop the engine, lock and unlock the doors, and flash the lights, though the full list of features varies depending on the model and the year. They can also find where they parked the car and generate a vehicle status report.
Drivers who own a compatible Volkswagen model built between the 2020 and 2023 model years can gain free access to the Car-Net Safe & Secure suite of services by creating a myVW account. The coverage will remain active for five years after the sale date or June 1, 2023, whichever is later. For example, someone who bought a GTI in September 2020 and activates Car-Net Safe & Secure can benefit from the free services until June 1, 2028. However, the company points out that most 2020 Passat models are not equipped with Car-Net.
The company also expressed regret about the carjacking incident involving a two-year-old kid that happened in Chicago in February 2023.
"Volkswagen must and will do better for everyone that trusts our brand and for the law enforcement officials tasked with protecting us. In addition to a full investigation of what went wrong and actions taken to address the failure, we want to make it right for the future," said Rachael Zaluzec, the company's senior vice president of customer experiences and brand marketing, in a statement.
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