Key-less cars helping auto thieves

Key-less cars helping auto thieves

Motorists warned thieves are using technology to steal cars.

Key-less cars helping auto thieves
The Range Rover Evoque is one of the vehicles being targeted by thieves.

It’s a great convenience having key-less entry and ignition, but beware, car thieves have started using technology to make off with cars fitted with key-less systems.

The warning comes out of the UK where there’s been a spike in the theft of ‘key-less cars’ in recent times. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) saying organised criminal gangs are increasingly targeting high-end cars with key-less security systems.

The SMMT warns that thieves are able to bypass security using key reprogramming equipment purchased on the black market and intended only for mechanics.

Manufacturers say they are trying to stay ahead of the thieves by updating software, but in some cases, insurance companies are now refusing to insure some models.

Thatcham Research, which collates data on behalf of UK insurers, has told the BBC the problem is widespread.

“Whilst BMWs and Audis appeared to be the early targets, it’s fair to say that this was largely associated with their desirability across Europe, rather than any specific security lapse.

“Recently we’ve seen evidence of a range of makes and models being affected, including the Ford Fiesta and Focus, Range Rover Evoque and also now including light commercial vehicles such as the Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter.”

Joel Helmes