A mere six months after its launch, peer-to-peer luxury car sharing service HiGear has been forced to shut down operations following multiple incidents of theft, TechCrunch reports.
The San Francisco-based company specialized in high-end auto brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Tesla. However, the expensive nature of its vehicles may have made thieves more inclined to obtain them. HiGear worked to ensure security of its cars, providing comprehensive liability and collision insurance while also performing background checks and credit report analysis to guarantee the reliability of each driver. However, a criminal ring was able to bypass security, stealing four cars with a total value of around $400,000 using false identity verification for driving records and credit scores. "This incident exposed us to the worst-case risks inherent in our service," the company wrote in a letter to its members. "Even by improving security and processes, we are not completely sure we can prevent an incident of this sort from happening again given the peer-to-peer nature of our service." Motor Authority adds that prior to the thefts, HiGear had been projecting around 200 percent growth over the next three months.