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Alarm Bells

Published: 8:49PM Wednesday February 18, 2009 Source: Fair Go

Vicki Warrington is very proud of her 1994 Mitsubishi Viento. She relies on it to get her around town in her job caring for the elderly.

Unfortunately, not everyone has been as loving towards her wheels - the Mitsubishi targetted by vandals.

Vicki says her car's been "keyed, scratched all over the bonnet.. boot, around the door handles." So, upset at the repeated attacks by vandals on her car, she decided to get a car alarm that would keep would-be vandals away.

Dunedin firm Soundway installed a 5 star Uniden car alarm on December 5 2008 and from the first day Vicki drove away from having the alarm fitted, there were problems.

Vicki said the alarm kept false triggering for rain, wind and sleet, "when it is raining it will turn around and go into full alarm mode and not chirp at all and give me warning. I've got to come out and disarm the whole car alarm, and then it will rearm itself and its not meant to do that."

She took the car back in to Soundway in an attempt to solve the problem. They suggested fitting two extra microwave sensors. The theory was they would bring the alarm's zone in closer and reduce the false alarms.

Vicki says after spending almost a thousand dollars on the car alarm, it kept on false triggering.
The alarm is so unpredictable Vicki says ice and sleet trigger it, also wind and even the odd plane.

Fair Go tested out a garden hose on the car to simulate rainfall and the alarm went off. While our camera was there a passing rubbish truck also got the alarm sounding off.

Vicki's had to garage her car as nothing has silenced her problem.

Fair Go went to Soundway withVicki to help argue her case.

Sales Manager Anthony Kenny said they installed the alarm in good faith following the full manufacturers recommendations, but that there were a few adjustments which could be made to help.

Soundway agreed to remove the microwave sensors and refund $395 of Vicki's money.

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