Extracting a dealership-installed nightmare from my dream 2016 Ram 1500 Sport

In late August, I was on the hunt for a new-to-me truck. I found “the one,” a 2016 Ram 1500 Sport, at Fair Oaks Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram (CJDR). It had every option I wanted, was painted the color I preferred, and was Certified Pre-Owned. And it was priced right. Given that beggars can’t be choosers with used cars, I figured I’d put up with a potentially difficult dealership experience for the sake of getting what I wanted.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/10/31/dealership-installed-nightmare-2016-ram-1500-sport

Wire it to a 9 volt battery and ship it to Mongolia.


What’s the story on Ford buying back your truck?

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Thanks for taking the time to write this up. I’d heard of used car dealers installing these for “credit challenged” buyer’s cars, but never did any research on them being elsewhere. Good info.

TSB for engine rattle coming from the cam timing solenoids. Ford’s fix doesn’t fix it. I made them buy it back via BBB Auto Line. I’ll have an article on this coming soon, it was a great truck but for $Lots per month it shouldn’t make noises akin to timing chain slap when cold.

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If you want to get rid of the device I’ll take it. Send me a message and we can work out payment and shipping. Thanks

thanks for posting the article,it just again goes to prove that auto dealers today are still the shady sleazeballs they have always been(even after asking them to remove the kahu unit they did not bother to comply),and now they have a new bag of technological tricks to keep track of their buyers,had you not done your due dilligence you would have not known what that kahu device was even used for,. Notwithstanding the fact that the cost of it was being passed on to you ,the customer, in your purchase price with it having zero value to you.
Once again whether you are buying a new or used vehicle it is SO important to read the contracts for all the addon costs,and question the dealer/have them remove stuff that is of no value to you the buyer,this gps tracker thing is just another example in the creep of “technology”.
A friend just purchased a new truck and a gm dealer who had preinstalled an electronic corrosion system, potentially at a cost to him of almost$1000,he insisted it be removed and the cost of it removed from the price and they did comply, had he not done so he would have born that cost,and for a technology that is of “questionable” value(we put lots of salt on our roads in winter).
Dealers today have found all kinds of ways to boost their profit margins ,i love the option on the unit of the “remote start” disconnect, nowplease understand im not condoning deadbeat nonpayers but i hate the idea that “big brother is watching”.
once again,thanks for posting this,hopefully it will help other buyers avoid this nonsensical “survellience” technology.kudos for sharing your story,very interesting.

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Thank you Jake. “Buyer beware” has taken on much higher importance with your article. I also hate having additional “controls” placed on us to thwart deadbeats. The car dealer experiences in my family have been so sleazy that a hot shower is required when finally complete! Perhaps Amazon or some other process of removing the dealer from the sale could help.
Thanks again for enlightening us about this!!

If memory serves, there was a major Ford dealer in Michigan that got in big trouble with these devices years ago. They shut off a non paying woman’s ignition system while she was driving the car on the expressway and she ended up wrecking the car. That was the beginning of the end of Mel Farr/Superstar Ford if my memory hasn’t completely abandoned me yet.

I have been following this “invasion” of my Car-space for several years. I was under the impression that all cars after 2015 had manufacture installed “Black boxes”? I can see the “Kaluha” unit is for tracking deadbeats, This is another reason I HATE the AUTO-Tonomus movement. They not only want to track your every move…but make the moves for you. You will have to pry the steering wheel off of my cold dead hands. here are a few articles that I have archived. So does the 2016 Ram still have a black box tracker?

You’re Welcome

This is just one reason why car ‘dealers’ are somewhere below the slimy bottom feeders on the food chain…it’s the customer who is being ‘dealt’; with a stacked deck

Hopefully your dream Ram doesn’t become a nightmare again when its Hemi engine’s lifters fail and eat up the camshaft. This Achilles heel should have prompted a recall by FCA a decade ago but they’re choosing to ignore it. Sleazeball antics in the automotive industry go way deeper than the dealer level. :-1:

I saw the headline and knew what they had installed, I’m not too shocked by the keep a key move they pulled either. The reality is that too many people are defaulting on car loans and dealers are not only trying to protect themselves, they want you the buyer to pay for it. This is proven by them wanting you to register the service in your name, I’m guessing there is a fee for that as well. If you did default I would also be willing to bet you money that they would have been more than happy to repo the truck as a service your finance company for a fee. I leave you with this thought “Never pay a DOC fee” they say it is to protect your personal information but the reality is that if they breach your personal information you can sue them so why should you pay them to do something in their own best interest, what they did here is the same thing.

I knew this is going when I read, “Andrew claimed Fair Oaks Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram wouldn’t let the $399 device and service stand between it and a deal.”

The problem was that you accepted his non-answer to your question. His answer was, “OK, we’ll drop the price another $399.” You should have said, “I need written confirmation that the Kahu device by Spireon will be removed prior to delivery, at no cost to me, that the $399 fee for the device will be removed from the agreed purchase amount and that the vehicle will be sold in such a condition as though the Kahu device had never been installed.”

Yes, it sounds lawyer-like, but when you’re dealing with sharks, you have to do everything possible to avoid getting bitten.

I get that slimey feeling whenever i walk on a dealers lot . I hate shopping for cars period .

Good for you dude, extracting that leach from your vehicle! And, love that photo of the bare wiring splice!

When I was in the negotiation phase of buying a used 2017 Ford XLT 150 the salesman tried to get me to buy the Ford Sync 3 system. This particular truck had the optional Equipment Group 302A which includes the Sync 3 system as part of the group. I turned them down as I felt it was something I wouldn’t need. When I closed the deal the finance manger gave me window sticker for truck which shows the system is already installed. Point is if something doesn’t feel right then step back.

Wow, thanks for this, what a underhanded way to do business…

THANKS for the write up !

I worked for a dealership that installed them only on the BHPH cars. Those people usually had horrible credit and they purchased at very high interest rates. If they missed payments, it was a simple click on a computer screen and the vehicle was disabled. Obviously, we waited until it stopped moving, like at home or work. Then we sent the wrecker over and picked it up. Personally, technology like this in any car reeks of intrusion and good for you Jake for ripping it out. The dealership was stupid in not taking care of it before the sale.

Different type of “add on’s” so that profits can be increased! I already have a “book” started on this topic after spending 60 years as a manufacturers representative in the car business, (from Studebaker to Toyota) and I have seen ALL kinds of dealers - good & bad! The beginning of this type of “business” started with the “wang” system of finance & the start of a F & I department! Back end profits. I hope to be able to enlighten people like YOU have on the pitfalls of certain “tricks of the trade” & how to respectably avoid the
high cost of it!