LIBERTYVILLE, Unwell. — The parents of a toddler who was kidnapped during a carjacking are suing the automaker.
Attorneys for the family claim Volkswagen refused to help authorities in tracking the automobile until payment of their tracking system was paid and activated.
The incident happened last February within the 16000 block of Route 137 in unincorporated Libertyville when Taylor Shepherd, who was pregnant on the time, was returning home.
When Shepherd went to retrieve her 2-year-old son from the automobile, an assailant pulled up behind her 2021 Volkswagen Atlas, beat her and knocked her to the bottom.
In accordance with the lawsuit, the assailant then stole the Volkswagen Atlas, with the 2-year-old boy inside, and fled — running Shepherd over and causing serious injuries to her pelvis and extemities.
She immediately called 911 and first responders arrived to the scene shortly after.
The lawsuit claims a deputy from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office contacted Volkswagen and requested the GPS tracking location data from the vehicle and explained the “extremely exigent” circumstances and that the situation was “life or death.”
Nevertheless, the deputy was informed that the vehicle’s free trial period for the Automotive-Net services had expired and that a subscription of $150 was required before the placement of the vehicle may very well be provided.
The family said the automakers demand for payment and refusal to cooperate with police delayed the search for his or her abducted child and caused Shepherd and her husband extreme emotional distress.
In an announcement released last February, Volkswagen said it has a procedure in place with a third-party provider for Automotive-Net support services to assist with emergency requests from law enforcement.
“Unfortunately, on this instance, there was a serious breach of the method,” the statement read. “We’re addressing the situation with the parties involved.”
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