New cars can be stolen in seconds
Thieves have been exploiting weaknesses in keyless entry systems on new and popular vehicles
A keyless entry system means you don’t need your keys out to get into your car or start the engine… just on your person somewhere. A system meant to create ease for the user may actually be causing more stress.
According to the BBC “motor theft insurance claim payouts hit their highest level in seven years at the start of 2019.”
“The Association of British Insurers said claims for January to March were higher than for any quarter since 2012.”
They went on to advise that the Association of British Insurers said that keyless entry is partly to blame for this rise but wouldn’t give the figures for how many claims were for keyless entry cars.
To see how easy it is to steal a keyless car, What Car? attempted to do just this with seven different car models and discovered that A DS 3 Crossback and Audi TT RS were taken in just 10 seconds, and a Land Rover Discovery Sport TD4 in 30. Scary stuff.
According to the BBC thieves, generally working in pairs, will target a car parked outside a house.
One criminal will hold a device close to the car that boosts the signal meant for the key, while the other thief will stand close to the house with another device that relays that signal to the key, fooling the system.
Many manufacturers are now looking to motion detection in order to prevent these crimes. What Car? said motion sensor technology has been praised by David Jamieson, the police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands, who says most cars are stolen late at night when the key fobs have been left on a table or hook.