A recent study reveals almost every car can be easily stolen. Apart from one.
A recent study has revealed that four out of five best-selling cars in the UK are at risk of being stolen due to their keyless entry systems. The UK consumer group Which? looked at research from the German General Automobile Club (ADAC) which tested 237 keyless cars and found that 230 of them could be fooled into unlocking and starting by cheap electronic hacking tools that can be bought online.
"So what?" we hear you say, "this is a German test covered by a UK publication, how does it affect people in the US?"
Well, many of the cars tested are models that are available in the States and most new vehicles have keyless entry as standard fitment. Interestingly, the one car in the UK top five that is safe from keyless theft is the Vauxhall Corsa, a car that doesn't offer keyless entry and is also not available in the US.
Of that 237-total tested by ADAC, four cars could either be unlocked or started but not both, while the remaining three remained unhackable. These three vehicles are the latest Discovery, Range Rover and I-Pace, all manufactured by Jaguar Land Rover.
"Thieves have been using keyless theft for several years, but manufacturers continue to make new models that can be stolen in this way, meaning there is an ever-larger pool of vehicles for thieves to target," Which? said in a statement. While car theft is much lower these days than a decade ago, it has been on the rise over the past year thanks to the proliferation of insecure keyless entry systems and freely available devices that allow thieves to take advantage of it.
The solution isn't to revert to the old key-in-the-door system but if you have one of those cars, you may be better off than if you own a brand-new keyless entry model. Unless of course, the car thieves remember to break in the old-fashioned way.