by Paul Williams

VCALL Receiver

Vehicle theft continues to be a big problem in Canada. 160,000 vehicles were stolen in 2000, and over 40,000 of them were unrecovered. This represents an annual billion-dollar expense to the insurance and law enforcement industries.

And you know this affects your insurance rates.

What happens to these unrecovered vehicles? Some are given false vehicle identification numbers and re-sold, either in Canada or abroad. Others are chopped for parts. Luxury cars and SUVs are the vehicles of choice for car thieves.

According to the Vehicle Information Center of Canada (VICC) the most effective theft deterrent for your car is an immobilizer.

These devices shut down vital circuits in your car’s electrical system, making it impossible to start. They arm automatically when you turn off your car. It’s this kind of system you’re now seeing as standard equipment on new cars.

VCALL Systems of Ottawa adds a clever wrinkle to the immobilizer technology. As well as shutting down two of your vehicle’s vital circuits, the VCALL device links to your home or business alarm.

This is an industry first. “The home alarm industry and the vehicle alarm industry have always been separate,” says Jody Lavoie, vice president of VCALL Systems.

“The people behind VCALL Systems have a background in both industries, so we were able to join the technologies.”

Once armed, you get all the benefits of an immobilizer, plus your car effectively becomes another zone in your monitored home or business system. As well as immobilizing the vehicle if an attempt is made to defeat it, the VCALL system activates additional security built into your home or business alarm.

For most people, this involves the monitoring company calling the police, but some people have lights and video cameras attached as well. Away from home the system acts as a stand-alone immobilizer.

“We’re hoping that home alarm companies will make the VCALL system an option in their standard packages,” said Mr. Lavoie. “That way your car simply becomes another zone in your residential alarm, and you can you can pay a slightly higher monthly fee for it.”

Alternatively, you can buy the system for $499.00 installed.

The VCALL system was launched at the Ottawa Autorama in April, 2001. For more information, go to

Connect with