Motorists are being warned to take extra care after high value ‘keyless cars’ are being stolen from driveways.
Police say this also means criminals are able to avoid having to break into homes to steal the fobs.
Even though reports in 2018 of this happening, and car companies we contacted were denying it, a recent Panorama Documentary showed CCTV footage gathered from various such thefts.
Tests by the ADAC - the German equivalent of the AA - ‘tricked’ keyless sensor technology into thinking the owner was nearby with a fob. Vehicles from nearly 30 manufacturers were unlocked. Dozens of models were ‘hacked’.
Seeing is believing: CCTV showed car thieves with there faces covered, holding up what looks like a small satelitte dish which picks up the signla from keys left in the house, it then amplifies it to a transmitter key that that partner in crime is holding right next to the vehicle. The lights flash and then they are in the car, starting it up and driving off. All within under one minute.
Most of the thefts have happened overnight and were Ford vehicles, but mercedes and other high value vehicles are being targeted.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Audi A3, A4, A4 Avant, A5, A6, A6 All Road, R8, SQ7, TTS
BMW 225xe, 318i, 318d, 520d, 640d, 730d, 740, 740d, i3, i3 94 Ah (7/2016), i3 94 Ah (5/2016), X1, X1 SDrive 18d
Citroen DS4 CrossBack, C3 Pure Tech, C4 Picasso, C4 Picasso HDI, Spacetourer
Fiat 124 Spider
Ford Eco-Sport, Edge, Focus RS, Galaxy, Mustang, S-Max
Hyundai i10, i30, i30 1.4 T-GDI, iX35 Fuel Cell, i40, Santa Fe, Infinity Q30
Kia Niro Hybrid, Optima (11/2015), Optima (8/2016), Optima Plugin-Hybrid
Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Evoque
Lexus RX 450h
Mazda 3 Skyactive, CX-5
Mercedes E 220d, E 220d T-Modell
Mini Clubman, Cooper S Cabrio
Mitubishi Outlander (5/2016), Outlander (12/2016), Space Star
Nissan Leaf, Navara, Qashqia, Qashqia+2
Opel Ampera, Astra
Peugeot 508 W, 3008
Renault Captur, Clio, Kadjar, Megane, Magane Grandtour, Scenic, Talisman, Talisman Grandtour, Traffic, Seat Ateca, Skoda Kodiaq, Octavia (12/2105), Octavia (2/2016), Superb 1,6TDi
Ssangtyong Tivoli XDi
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, Baleno, Vitara
Tesla Model S P85
Toyota C-HR 1.8 Hybrid, Mirai, Prius, Prius 1.8 Hybrid, RAV4, Verso
Volvo V40, S90, S90 D5, V90 D5, XC90 T8
Volskwagen Golf 7 TSI, Golf 7 GTD (10/2013), Golf 7 GTD (12/2016), Passat GTE, Tiguan (3/2016), Tiguan (7/2016), Touran 5T
Unlike criminals’ ever-more sophisticated methods, there are a few simple measures drivers can take.
A spokesman for the police said: “We believe electronic devices are used to mirror the signal of the keyless car fobs. ”The advise to owners of keyless cars is to buy a Faraday bag. The bag acts as a key signal shield to help protect owners from having their cars stolen. You can also store fobs in a metal tin, or wrapped in alluminum foil.
We phoned hartwell ' skyford to see if they had one of those 'faraday' key fob covers that would sheild it from sending out its signal. But they did not have any such thing.
We were told we could disable the keyless entry via the menu system, which meant having to use the old fashioned key, which after paying the extra for the new system, we felt a refund would be needed for a nsecure system.
They did comment that they were unhappy they couldnt help, so they passed us the the number for the main Ford offices which we wil be calling soon.
Continental’s Key as a Service (KaaS) technology solution allows for two-way data communication between a vehicle and Avis Budget Group’s cloud-based system and app, which effectively “connects” the car.
Other tips for keyless car owners include:
• Contact your dealer and check if your vehicle has any outstanding software updates, which may improve security
• Check if the keyless fob can be turned off/on, your dealer can confirm and advise how to do this
• Be vigilant, and report any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood to the police
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