Beware – test proves your new car could be stolen in just 10 seconds
Car theft figures in the UK are at the highest they have been in over eight-years with 106,000 vehicles stolen in England and Wales in 2018. In fact, just in the last five years figures have grown by 50 per cent.
Many experts believe the growing integration of keyless entry and start technology in new cars is playing a large part in this sudden burst of crime. It’s becoming increasingly easy for thieves to break into and drive cars featuring keyless functionality. Criminals have started using signal relay and boosting devices that can “clone” a key’s code fooling the respective car to unlock itself. Cars that feature keyless go will therefore also allow the criminal to drive off.
What Car? decided to test this method of car theft out while timing how long it took to drive away in a few keyless cars. The British consumer advice magazine chose seven cars of varying prices from an Audi TT RS to a Ford Fiesta. It seems the price tag of the car has no influence on its security as the most expensive of the bunch – the Audi TT – was broken into and driven away in just 10 seconds.
Alongside the Audi was the DS3 Crossback that couldn’t put up much of a fight either being driven away from the test zone in just 10 seconds. The cars that survived the test the best was the BMW X3 and the Ford Fiesta which lasted a full minute before being driven away. A close third best was the Mercedes A-Class that managed to stay in one spot for an impressive 50 seconds.
A few of the cars used in the test had a key fob that can be deactivated. When it is indeed turned off, unlocking the car becomes just as hard as a traditional vehicle with a normal key.
This begs the question; do we really need keyless systems? If one has to take the key out of their pocket to switch it on and off again, there surely isn’t much use in having the keyless system. Those that own cars without it will be used to the act of taking their key out to unlock their car before getting in and driving off. What do you think the future is like for keyless go?