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Automotive Testing and Development Services (ATDS)

I recieved a letter from Automotive Testing and Development Services (ATDS) out of Ontario, CA that included a letter from car manufacturer saying my car has been selected for a quality and performance test (emissions) program. They would have my car for about a week, give me $250, a rental, a tank of gas for my car and rental, wash/clean my car (which it needs), and exchange location of my choice (I assume I’d finally get to meet Picov Andropov). So my question is, is this legit? Has anyone else participated in this “program” and if so should I expect my car to be used at the border for some clandestine op?

Never heard of this. I’d get independent confirmation from the manufacturer first.

Wow. Aren’t car theives getting clever.

I’m unfamiliar with Canada’s consumer protection protocols, but of you have some avenue such as our Attorney General that deals with consumer scams, you may want to touch base with them. It might be legit, but of it’s not it should be looked into.

Don’t turn your car over to ANYONE with out checking this out very, very thoroughly. It smells like a scam.

Considering that Montreal is the car theft capital of North America…I’d be very skeptical.

Canada? It’s Ontario, California, I think.

Guys–The OP stated that this company/agency is located in Ontario, CA.
(CA=California)

This does not make the offer any less suspicious, but let’s not lead him on a wild goose chase to Canada when this situation apparently has nothing to do with our neighbor to the north.

Oops. My bad.

But, Canada or California, it still has a bad odor.

Never heard of them but after a look at their website they appear to be legit; at least on the surface.

Before agreeing to anything I would want clarification on a few points and in writing.
One would be how many miles and what type of driving will they do with your car.

Two would be what will happen if your car suffers any problems during any test or afterwards.
Consider the cut and paste below from their website.

“A four bay garage with lifts and skilled mechanics is available for parts removal or vehicle inspections.”

I would be a bit antsy if I thought someone was going to be ripping my car apart and 250 dollars won’t go very far in repairing any potential problem caused by any of their actions. Odds are they cover their bases on this with a disclaimer.

Not to sound redundant, but this sounds awfully shady even if the website looks good. A legitimate study would ask you to keep a log, perhaps request permission to put an event recorder on your vehicle, you’d retain the vehicle and would agree to periodic visits to their testing center and to specfiic levels of testing…none of which should require disabling the vehicle.

And if your car had been “selected by the manufacturer”, than the manufacturer would have notified you.

And then there’s the insurance issue… you’re supposed to let some unknown individual over which you have zero oversight drive your vehicle for a week on your insurance? At your risk? I wonder what your insurance company will say if the car gets wrecked. Sorry, unauthorized driver?

No legit agency would take your car from you. Something here isn’t right.

Many thanks for the responses. I was finally able to get the OEM on the phone and they validated the program. You all have some very good suggestions that I will take aboard. If I decide to participate I will report out. TY

I’m suspicious of anything coming over the internet. I’ve received numerous scams from those both pretending to be my internet provider as well as Microsoft itself.

Here’s the web site:

http://www.automotivetesting.com/

They have a street address and telephone number. Those are usually signs of a legit operation. Give them a call and ask about the letter you received. You might also call your car manufacturer and ask if they hired ATDS to provide said services. For you, they would test the car here:

400 S. Etiwanda Avenue
Ontario, CA 91761