Is it just me, or did your Taycan come with an unrequested, always-on tracking device called StarGard?

Miwa

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If that was an ordered car, I would've walked. Then again, if it wasn't I would've walked too.

I'm guessing not many Porsche dealers in your area?





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SWORDER

SWORDER

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So just to be clear @SWORDER , where in your paperwork does it list that you paid for this $1000 option? Or did you get a separate paper that you had to sign for it? For me, I have one piece for the tire/dent protection and one for the 20k mile maintenance plan.

Edit: I also did a 3 year lease and my finance guy definitely did not offer me this option when I was signing all the paperwork.
I must have signed two dozen different sets of paperwork that day but, as I recall, one of them showed a list of add-ons that I could either check or leave unchecked. Things like wheel protection, flux capacitor extended warrantees, and all kinds of silly things I knew I'd never want.

The add-on at the top of that list was for StarGard but, unlike the other options, it had a pre-checked box (it was actually printed that way) with no way to uncheck it. It's particularly concerning because they actually installed the unwanted device prior to me signing that document.

It's definitely not a Porsche thing. It's a dealer thing. Kind of surprised that Porsche allows it since, generally speaking, they run a pretty tight ship.
 

daveo4EV

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Still exploring every nook and cranny of this wonderful new Taycan! Today I want to learn about StarGard.

Before driving off the lot, at my dealership anyway, you sit down with a friendly lady who helps you finalize all the paperwork. She also offers you some "add-ons." Most of them are pretty useless but I did bite on one of them which was essentially an insurance plan for the wheels and tires.

One of the so called add-ons was called StarGard. It's $1,000. It's basically a theft protection system, kind of like LoJack. I said I didn't want it. But she said it was already installed and there's no way to opt out of it. There was no way to complete the deal without it so I conceded.

Couple days later I got an email from StarGard where they redirected me to a tracking site at StarGardGPS.com. When I logged on, I can see that this one company is keeping a log of every place my car has ever driven. Here's a snapshot of the kind of stuff they're collecting (doesn't show my home address or anything confidential):

Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 7.24.46 AM.png



I'm not a privacy nut or anything. My life is pretty much an open book. But it does seem odd to me that there's this expensive, unrequested, non-optional, dealer add-on device attached to my car that's logging every place I visit.

Doesn't look like there's any mention of StarGard on this forum so figured I'd create this post to facilitate discussion.

The things I'm wondering about are:

(1) At what time was this thing installed? It definitely didn't come from Germany. It must have been done at the dealer. But if so, I'm not sure when. I literally took delivery right after it arrived.

(2) Where is this device located? It certainly doesn't appear to be visible within the car. There's also no way to control or deactivate it through the PCM interface.

(3) How long is the data retained? Keeping data for a rolling five to ten days might make sense in a theft prevention scenario, but this company seems to be keeping all data from delivery forward -- permanently.

(4) I can't find anything on the StarGard site that indicates if the data is encrypted in any form. If the data could only be decrypted by the vehicle owner using a PIN or passphrase in the event of a theft, that wouldn't be so bad -- but I haven't seen anything to indicate that that's the case.

Again, this isn't a "I think the KGB is spying on me" issue. I guess the main concern here is that anyone who knows your email address can, if they guess your password, gain access to every place you've ever been in your car. And when/if this company gets hacked (and they will -- let's just say their site wasn't designed with security in mind), there's going to be a treasure trove of information on tons of people.

If I chose to install this thing [which I guess I ultimately did by acquiescing] then so be it, but the fact that it was stuck in there without asking kind of sticks in my craw. That's just an expression.
this is not a standard porsche option - I would’ve walked from the deal over this - and that data is extremely invasive and poorly protected.

my condolences.
 

AMERCY

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Further reading of different, partially old sources suggests:
* It's a separate, small and relatively cheap piece of hardware
* "Dealer scam" to pull off another 1k$
* and/or allows for remote lockdown in case leasing rates are not being payed (would fit your scenario)
* I retract the hypothesis of "tapping into the Porsche" server. Looks all so fishy, could never imagine traditional, integer and conservative Porsche would agree into a such
complicity
 
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Mike in CA

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No question Star Guard is a dealer installed "option" although in your case apparently you actually weren't given an option.

Did you special order this car or purchase it from dealer inventory? If it was a car you ordered there is absolutely no basis for the dealer to have charged you for an add-on you didn't request. If it was from dealer stock, even if the dealer felt that it was something needed to protect his inventory, he shouldn't gouge the customer for it.

I've purchased a lot of new vehicles and have never had a dealer try to charge me for an add on option that wasn't identified ahead of time on a window sticker. The person doing the close doesn't get to spring a $1K "mandatory option" on you at the last minute. Either they remove it if possible, throw it into the deal for free, or you walk away which at that point in the process I guarantee they won't let you do over $1K on $180K+ transaction.

As for how Star Guard works, I don't know anything about it. It might even be worth having but you shouldn't have had to accept it at the metaphorical point of a gun.
 
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SWORDER

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If that was an ordered car, I would've walked. Then again, if it wasn't I would've walked too.

I'm guessing not many Porsche dealers in your area?
There's a couple of them in town. I could've gone elsewhere but never figured there'd be a reason to.

I guess I was caught off guard but definitely won't make the same mistake next time around.

It's not just that they ripped me off for a grand, but that they snuck in a device that reports the driver's every move to a shady third-party company which then stores that data in an unencrypted form. StarGard seems like it would be a great tool for stalkers and obsessive exes though! LOL
 
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SWORDER

SWORDER

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No question Star Guard is a dealer installed "option" although in your case apparently you actually weren't given an option.

Did you special order this car or purchase it from dealer inventory?
It was a special order. I had been waiting several months for it to arrive.

Kind of a disappointing footnote to an otherwise positive experience. I guess no one like feeling as though they're being played for a sucker. :confused:
 
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Fedex77

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When I bought my first car at around age 23, it was a used Infiniti G35 coupe. The dealer said I had to pay a fee to transfer the remaining factory warranty over to a new owner. He said he couldn't make the sale without charging the fee. I agreed because I wanted a warranty, and hey, I was 23. I knew pretty much immediately that I was ripped off (will never buy from a NYC car dealer again and thankfully I left NY years ago). Reading your story, it sounds like you were ripped off too. I would have told the finance lady that the dealership should cover it or deactivate it and call their bluff on not making the sale. I guarantee the general manager would have run out to the parking lot to apologize and bring you back in to complete the deal on your terms.
 

Mike in CA

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It was a special order. I had been waiting several months for it to arrive.

Kind of a disappointing footnote to an otherwise positive experience. I guess no one like feeling as though they're being played for a sucker. :confused:
Wow; on a car you ordered. I'm sorry that happened to you. IMO, the actions of your dealer were borderline (and maybe not even borderline) unethical. Don't beat yourself up too badly; after waiting so long for your car I can understand why you were caught off guard in the moment. But if I were you I would definitely be PO'd.

Seriously consider contacting PCNA about what happened, and make sure that the management of your dealership knows you are contacting PCNA to register a complaint. I suspect that Porsche would not look favorably on one of their outlets taking advantage of customers in this way and the dealer might be moved to make things right to head off repercussions. Good luck, and despite all of this, enjoy your new car!
 

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Wow; on a car you ordered. I'm sorry that happened to you. IMO, the actions of your dealer were borderline (and maybe not even borderline) unethical. Don't beat yourself up too badly; after waiting so long for your car I can understand why you were caught off guard in the moment. But if I were you I would definitely be PO'd.

Seriously consider contacting PCNA about what happened, and make sure that the management of your dealership knows you are contacting PCNA to register a complaint. I suspect that Porsche would not look favorably on one of their outlets taking advantage of customers in this way and the dealer might be moved to make things right to head off repercussions. Good luck, and despite all of this, enjoy your new car!
I agree, I think this is the right approach to take. Would be curious to hear how it plays out.
 

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I was given the impression that 'deny' wasn't an option. It was pretty much an "offer I couldn't refuse." Of course, I could've refused the entire delivery and walked out, but it was made clear that there was no way to get the car without this thing attached.
My 992 came pre-loaded with LoJack from my dealer (Porsche Riverside) in CA. When I reviewed the vehicle sales contract, I saw it on there and informed the dealer that I did not need LoJack, as Porsche Connect already has GPS location services and they told me they would not charge me for it. I think informed them that I would not accept the vehicle with any aftermarket accessories installed in the vehicle and if they wanted to complete the sale, it would have to be removed.

They removed the LoJack from my 992.

Based on the screen cap you posted, I would not be comfortable with a 3rd party company having access to my personal location data. It is not that I do not trust the company, but rather the fact that every single day there are data breaches and StarGard could most certainly be subjected to one.
 

F16HTON

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I must have signed two dozen different sets of paperwork that day but, as I recall, one of them showed a list of add-ons that I could either check or leave unchecked. Things like wheel protection, flux capacitor extended warrantees, and all kinds of silly things I knew I'd never want.

The add-on at the top of that list was for StarGard but, unlike the other options, it had a pre-checked box (it was actually printed that way) with no way to uncheck it. It's particularly concerning because they actually installed the unwanted device prior to me signing that document.

It's definitely not a Porsche thing. It's a dealer thing. Kind of surprised that Porsche allows it since, generally speaking, they run a pretty tight ship.
That is kinda the sales pitch, there is a single item that they offer which may be free or of little cost to you. It is an icebreaker to initiate the discussion of additional purchases during the finance process.

For my Taycan, here at Porsche Hawaii, the icebreaker is "free key replacement" which is given to the buyer as a courtesy from the dealership. After that box which cannot be unchecked on the giant iPad-like screen they use, are the other additional items such as wheel/tire protection, aftermarket extended warranty, additional vehicle services, paint protection, etc.

I cannot fault the dealer for attempting to sell a product for additional revenue, I would just object to any aftermarket electronic device in my car, especially one that tracks my every move.

Also those vehicle tracking devices are connected to the 12V battery system and create a constant amperage draw. The 12V battery system already has some controversy surrounding it.
 

Mike in CA

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I cannot fault the dealer for attempting to sell a product for additional revenue, I would just object to any aftermarket electronic device in my car, especially one that tracks my every move.
Agree; I also don't fault a dealer for trying to sell a product for additional revenue. But what the OP's dealer did was to install a product on his special order car without informing the OP up front and at the last minute told him that he had to pay for the product whether he wanted it or not. The dealer also apparently lied about not being able to remove the product. I absolutely fault all of that.

The second part of your statement is spot on.
 

YWGT3

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Porsche NA doesn't offer Star Guard in its build or specification order form. Prior to your taking delivery, the decision to install the device was unilaterally (without your consent) made by the dealership, deviating from the specs of your made-to-order vehicle. Being ambushed with this unanticipated line item and told that it has to be part of the contract, makes for poor business practice. If I were in this predicament and provided the Star Guard is not part of the lease stipulation, I would speak with the dealership's manager and request that the tracking device is removed and a full refund for said item.
 
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atebit

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If it’s not on your Monroney sticker, you shouldn’t have to pay for it if you don’t want it. $1K buys a lot of kWh. You should contact your state AG and inform them of this unfair & deceptive business practice.
 

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