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Thieves Increasingly Using Computers to Steal Cars

27th October 2014

Safe & Sound Vehicle Systems have been aware of the ever growing trend of high tech criminals using computers to steal keyless cars for the past 3 years now. The main manufacturers who suffer hugely from this are BMW and Jaguar Land Rover "JLR" with Audi following not far behind. Obviously keen not to admit there was a problem has meant there has always been very little information or advice available on the subject, until now. 

Today the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders "SMMT" have acknowledged there is a problem with thieves bypassing the vehicles security system using equipment only designed for workshop use.

Jaguar Land Rover have also acknowledged the issue stating:

"The criminal act of stealing vehicles through the re-programming of remote-entry keys is an on-going industry-wide problem. Our line-up continues to meet the insurance industry requirements as tested and agreed with relevant insurance bodies. Nevertheless we are taking this issue very seriously and our engineering teams are actively working in collaboration with insurance bodies and police forces to solve this continuously evolving problem."

The full story can be found here.

Safe & Sound Vehicle Systems know this has certainly been happening for a while now with many upset victims turning to the likes of the BBC’s Watchdog which prompted an investigation. Off the back of this "which can be seen below" BMW quickly acknowledged the issue and arranged the recall of 1000’s of vulnerable vehicles agreeing to reprogram the vehicles electronic control unit; but to little avail. BMW’s simple software tweak sadly was not enough to stop them for long. Criminals soon adapted their software and the crime began to rise again. 

Stuck with a huge problem on their hands BMW and JLR quickly turned to their approved security partner Trackstar, for assistance. Trackstar arose to the challenge and quickly launched the “Trackstar Advance”. A sophisticated car tracker which utilises Automatic Driver Recognition "ADR" to prevent the engine starting. The Trackstar Advance automatically immobilises the vehicle within 20 seconds of the engine turning off. Starting is only permitted with the presence of the supplied ADR Card. This is a small thin card, a little like a credit card which can be stowed in your wallet or bag for everyday use. On turning on the vehicles ignition the system sends a “challenge and response” task to the card, once acknowledged the engine will start. The overwhelming success of the Trackstar Advance is not to leave the ADR card in the vehicle, meaning even the reprogramming of a key will not allow the vehicle to be driven away.

For more information on the Trackstar Advance and how to prevent the theft of your vehicle please feel free to contact us. 

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