Computer Glitch Stalls Several Auto Credit Vehicles


By Fanna Haile-Selassie
By Ben Jeffords

WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- Several customers who bought cars from Auto Credit of Southern Illinois could not start their vehicles Friday. Others heard an alarm when they tried to turn the ignition. The company says it all stems from a computer malfunction out of Canada

The glitch has been going on all day, but Auto Credit says the problem was fixed for local vehicles by 5:15 p.m. The company says it first received word about the glitch at 8:30 a.m. It did not affect all the company's vehicles, but for those it did, drivers say it's been a terrible inconvenience.
Carterville resident Robert Rindfuss was one of the victims. As he got into his car to go to his doctor's appointment, an unfamiliar sound blared back to him from his Chrysler Sebring.
"All I get is a beep, there's no power, there's nothing. It just sits here," Rindfuss describes.
A big setback to a morning that was supposed to be filled with running errands. Rindfuss soon found out he wasn't the only one with a stationary car.
"When I called down there to Auto Credit, they acted like it was no surprise to hear from me."
That's because Auto Credit of Southern Illinois had already received about 50 to 100 phone calls from other customers about the problem. They were even experiencing it on their own lot, about 10 percent of the vehicles had an issue.
"We immediately start researching what's going on and find out our third-party provider of the GPS unit that we install on every one of our cars has some kind of malfunction. Some of these cars have received signals that they weren't supposed to receive," explains Steve Taylor, the President of Auto Credit of Southern Illinois.
All Auto Credit customers financing a car have a special GPS unit installed inside the vehicle. If you miss a payment, a warning sound will remind you when you start your vehicle. Wait too long to pay and the company can disable the car.
"Obviously, this has gone wrong and cars have been disabled that shouldn't have," says Taylor.
The malfunction happened at a company called iMetrik Solutions out of Canada. Their website showed a message that blamed a power outage for all the trouble.
But that's not enough for Rindfuss.
"I've got a ride to go to work over here; I've had to inconvenience somebody else for that. I've got to inconvenience someone else to bring me home from work tonight. I certainly hope they're going to do something about this as far as recompensing us," he says.
Steve Taylor with Auto Credit says they offered to give customers rides and helped to pay cab fares during the day. News 3 called iMetrik, but they told us all their information would come via Auto Credit.
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