The convenience of keyless entry ignition cars is undeniable, you walk up to your, yank on the door handle get in and simply drive off. I’d even go so far as to say that the convenience could potentially save you hours in times that you spend standing by your car fumbling for your keys. The question that many are starting to ask now, as global trends start showing more instances of vehicle theft, where the thieves have turned the technology that was designed to keep our vehicles safe against us. According to fresh data from Britain's Office of National Statistics (ONS) vehicle theft on the Island was up almost 56% year on year. Some 89,000 vehicles were stolen in 2017, up from 56,000 the previous year.
The question then is how? Considering that car makers claim these keys have an impossible to recreate signature that is unique to every car. In their defence, their information is mostly true. It is unlikely that the thief in question could recreate the signal from scratch. What they can do, however, is a relay and record your keys unique signature. As is usually the case, keys are not usually from a parked car. The scary bit is that these relay devices are freely available on the internet and can be accessed without the slightest of verification, and even delivered right to your doorstep. What this means is, the thief just has to identify that your car is activated through a key FOB. Know where you live, and have an approximate idea of where you live. The rest of the task takes no more than 20 seconds and involves getting in, turning on the car and driving off.
The only way to avoid waking up to find your driveway empty is to take proactive measures to protect your car. For one, key pouches that block the transmission are a simple but effective measure to prevent thieves from hijacking your keys signal. Or if that’s too much technology for your liking, there are plenty of untamperable, tangible devices that prevent your car from moving without your consent, steering locks, brake locks and even gear locks are simple and effective, and perhaps most of all, fool-proof.
Now if the theft was the only problem with keyless cars, we’d have called it a folly, but sometimes the technology might be a little more than we can chew. Like in the case of almost 2 dozen Americans who have met their ends of carbon monoxide poisoning after forgetting to turn their keyless cars off after driving into the garage. Which brings us to the question as to whether this technology even makes sense, or whether we need to make sure that these technologies are being supported with adequate safety to ensure mishaps like this don’t happen. For this case especially there is no magic preventive formula, the trick is to check the tachometer before you lock your car to ensure that your engine is turned off.