LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. — The parents of a toddler who was kidnapped during a carjacking are suing the automaker.
Attorneys for the family claim Volkswagen refused to assist authortities in tracking the car until payment of their tracking system was paid and activated.
The incident happened last February in the 16000 block of Route 137 in unincorporated Libertyville when Taylor Shepherd, who was pregnant at the time, was returning home.
When Shepherd went to retrieve her 2-year-old son from the car, an assailant pulled up behind her 2021 Volkswagen Atlas, beat her and knocked her to the ground.
According to 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.”
However, the deputy was informed that the vehicle’s free trial period for the Car-Net services had expired and that a subscription of $150 was required before the location of the vehicle could be provided.
The family said the automakers demand for payment and refusal to cooperate with police delayed the search for their abducted child and caused Shepherd and her husband extreme emotional distress.
In a statement released last February, Volkswagen said it has a procedure in place with a third-party provider for Car-Net support services to help with emergency requests from law enforcement.
“Unfortunately, in this instance, there was a serious breach of the process,” the statement read. “We are addressing the situation with the parties involved.”
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