The Etch a Sketch Window Etch Ripoff Scam

Window Etching - is it really "theft protection" or is it just another car dealer scam?

If you pay hundreds of dollars to a car dealer and you could get the same thing on the internet for less than $20 - which do you think is the better deal? And is it a good deal for you when it costs the dealer less than $10 and they charge you $300? You could be getting ripped off big time.

It's one of the great ripoffs of the decade - the window etch scam that some car dealers call "Etch Theft Guard" - we call it the etch a sketch scam.

Consumer advocates say window etching may be worthless
Car dealers often claim that window etching is theft protection or is like theft insurance because it might give you an extra few thousand dollars or so it if fails to prevent your car from being stolen. The truth is that a few numbers scratched on your car window are not likely to even be seen by a thief, let alone deter a car thief.

Dealers also sell the etch scam with the claim that the etched number enables police to track the car down and find the owner - that's baloney. Every motor vehicle has a unique serial number put on it by the manufacturer.

You can see your car's "vehicle identification number" by looking at the bottom of the windshield in front of the driver or at the tag installed on the driver side door jamb. The same number is planted in numerous secret places on the car - where only the police know where to look to find it. If your car is stolen it is that factory VIN number that the police will use to find out if the vehicle is stolen and track down the actual owner.

Worse yet, in some cases we are now handling against one Dayton Ohio car dealer network, the internal dealer documents show a dealer cost of less than $10 for their $300 retail charge window etching and they are even installing it on cars that have real factory-installed alarm systems and theft deterrent devices. Folks, you don't need windows etched if you have a real alarm system already. So why do some folks end up with it?

Some dealers apparently aren't telling the customer about the window etch theft guard that is being charged to them in their sales paperwork. One buyer said in her court papers that she wasn't even told about the etching or the charge for it that a Beavercreek Ohio area Cadillac dealer added into her deal without her knowing what was going on. Another angry buyer said in his court papers that he also wasn't told about the etching charges that a Miamisburg Ohio area Chevrolet added into his sales papers without him knowing it.

This car dealership chain apparently doesn't stop there either. Their Beavercreek Ohio area Mazda dealership is accused by another customer of slipping the etch theft guard charge into their contract without telling them about it either.

The etch theft guard problem is apparently so rampant that numerous lawsuits have been filed against Miami Valley car dealerships in the last few months. Don't fall victim to the etch a sketch window etching ripoff.

Be careful what a car dealer does to you so you don't waste your money.

Burdge Law Office
Helping Consumers Protect Themselves
from Car Dealer Scams Every Day.
It's what we do.

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Known nationwide as a leading Lemon Law attorney, Ronald L. Burdge has represented literally thousands of consumers in "lemon" lawsuits and actively co-counsels and coaches other Consumer Law attorneys. From 2005 through 2018, attorney Ronald L. Burdge has been named as the only Lemon Law Ohio Super Lawyer by Law and Politics magazine and Thomson Reuters Corp., Professional Division. Burdge restricts his practice to Lemon Law and Consumer Law cases. The Ohio Super Lawyer results are published annually in the January issue of Cincinnati Magazine. Ronald L. Burdge was named Consumer Law Trial Lawyer of the Year 2004 by the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the nation's largest organization of consumer law private and government attorneys. "Your impact on the auto industry has been magnified many times over because of the trail you blazed for others," stated NACA's Executive Director, Will Ogburn. Burdge has represented thousands of consumers in Ohio, Kentucky and elsewhere since 1978 and is a frequent lecturer to national, state and local Bar Associations and Judicial organizations. Burdge is admitted to Ohio's state and federal courts, Kentucky's state courts, and Indiana's federal courts. Other court admissions are on a "pro hac" temporary, case by cases basis.