A solution to a huge problem is coming.
The Toyota Hilux, the overseas cousin to North America's Toyota Tacoma, remains as popular as ever. For the past five years, it's been the best-selling vehicle in Australia, a country that loves off-roading (and V8-powered muscle cars) as much as Americans. Unfortunately, the popularity of the Hilux has a downside: it's one of the most stolen vehicles Down Under. Millions of owners are rightly concerned they'll wake up one morning to find their truck stolen.
According to CarAdvice, Hilux thefts have more than doubled over the past decade, thanks in part to its growing popularity.
Nearly a third of stolen trucks are never recovered. It's believed a majority of them are stripped down and sold for parts in and outside of the country. Hilux owners' frustration and anger are totally justified and much of that has been directed towards Toyota itself. Shouldn't an OEM do everything it can to prevent vehicle theft by equipping its products with anti-theft systems and features?
Absolutely, and the same news outlet now reports Toyota is taking action. Beginning this August, every new Hilux shipped to Australia will come with embedded vehicle tracking technology to help locate them in case they're stolen.
The tech will automatically contact an emergency number that will then directly alert authorities in the case of a serious crash. The first SOS contact-equipped trucks are due in Australian dealers this September or October and it'll remain a permanent standard feature. What remains to be seen is whether professional thieves will figure out a way to bypass the system by managing to turn off the location beacon. In any case, Toyota has found what will hopefully be a permanent solution.
This tracking tech isn't exactly new because it's already included in both the Camry and the Yaris Cross. The latter is expected to debut for the US market in the coming days.