Are Car Manufacturers Doing Enough To Prevent Keyless Car Thefts?

Mon 28th Jan 2019

A new report from Which? has revealed that thieves are capable of stealing 230 vehicles using the latest relay attack technology.

With car thefts increasing by 48.7 per cent over the last five years according to recent Home Office figures and an Auto Express report claiming that less than 50 per cent of stolen cars are ever recovered, the prospect of losing your prize motor is a very real prospect.

Relay attack crime is becoming more and more common, with the technology freely available on the internet and car owners paying little or no concern to the dangers. The technology finds your keyless fob’s weak signal and amplifies it to trick your car into believe that the key is nearby, gain access and drive off with the vehicle.

Now, with the German General Automobile Club revealing that four of the top five best-selling cars in the UK are vulnerable to the thefts manufacturers are fighting back to make changes to the tech. BMW and Mercedes have changed their keyless fobs to only emits a signal when they are being moved, while other manufacturers are offering the option of having the keyless fob deactivated.

“With more than one car being stolen every seven minutes, it’s important that people can feel confident in the security of their vehicle,” Which magazine editor Harry Rose said.

“The fact that so many cars on the road are susceptible to keyless theft simply isn’t good enough. We want manufacturers to up their game when it comes to making their vehicles safe from theft.”

Despite the worries, Mike Hawes, chief executive for the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders emphasises that cars are more secure than ever.

“Industry takes vehicle crime extremely seriously and any claims otherwise are categorically untrue.

“New cars are more secure than ever, and the latest technology has helped bring down theft dramatically with, on average, less than 0.3 per cent of the cars on our roads stolen. Criminals will always look for new ways to steal cars; it’s an ongoing battle and why manufacturers continue to invest billions in ever more sophisticated security features – ahead of any regulation.

“However, technology can only do so much and we continue to call for action to stop the open sale of equipment with no legal purpose that helps criminals steal cars.”