Buyers' advice, high tech, Motoring News, vehicle security

Keyless-entry car? So you think that’s safe…

  • Play safe with keyless vehicle locks
  • There’s nothing like expert advice
  • Know your fobs: Smart or not?
KEY-FOB CRIME: Lose your new car in moments - or take Thatcham's advice. Imaae: Google
KEY-FOB CRIME: Lose your new car in moments – or take Thatcham’s advice. Image: Google

LONDON, England – UK vehicle security company Thatcham has compiled advice to help prevent the theft of vehicles with keyless entry.

Does that include YOU? Are you about to buy such a vehicle? Carman’s Corner suggests you read on…

The investigation followed UK news coverage of a CCTV video which captured the apparently easy theft of such a vehicle and offers guidance to worried drivers.

WATCH a choice of video captures on the subject

The recorded ‘transmitter relay’ theft, Thatcham explains, exploited a vulnerability in keyless-entry systems through which criminals amplify or capture the signal from a keyless – some call it a ‘smart’ – key fob.

Keyless fobs, Thatcham adds, should not be confused with standard remote fobs which allow a driver to open and start a vehicle without even having to remove it from their pocket.


Richard Billyeald, Thatcham Research’s chief technical officer, told Carman’s Corner: “Keyless entry is convenient but can be exploited by criminals. We suggest owners contact their dealer for guidance and our simple security steps.

“We’re working closely with police and automakers to address this vulnerability – in fact continuing our approach that has driven vehicle crime down by 80% since its peak in 1992.”

Vehicle Theft Data
Recent ONS data reports that, in the UK through 2016, 91 000 vehicles were stolen. The figure in 2013 was 70 000, both figures including mopeds, motor-cycles and van. Car crime peaked in 1992 with anb astounding 620 000 thefts.

How vehicle thefts are recorded does not detail how many vehicles were stolen using a trasmitter relay.

What is Thatcham Research?
An independent voice of automotive safety and repair that can advise how vehicle owners, insurers and automakers can reduce the frequency, severity and cost of collisions and crashes and to realise a vision of ‘Safer Cars, Fewer Crashes’.

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