Only 24 safes out of 500 cars: ADAC warns against using remote control keys with Keyless Go

keyless go
Only 24 safes out of 500 cars: ADAC warns against using remote control keys with Keyless Go

The claw was yesterday: today auto theft is also possible with mobile devices, leaving no traces.

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For years, the ADAC has warned about unsafe radio switches in modern cars — apparently to no effect. Current studies show that there are still few manufacturers that provide the necessary safety.

German Automobile Club of the Year e. V. (ADAC) has been warning about unsafe radio switches in modern vehicles since 2016. Realistic result: Only five percent of 500 test cars are now protected from theft by expanding radio signals. So-called keyless operating systems are affected, that is, radio keys where it is enough to get close to the car to unlock them. This does not mean that the radio keys unlock the car with the touch of a button.

The thieves process is very easy and can be done with devices for only a few hundred euros. The burglary is limited to constantly extending the radio signals that many switches transmit. Example: The car key is in the house. Someone approaches the key with a receiver, another approaches the car with a radio extension – and you go away.

Drive until the tank is empty – then turn it on

But that’s not the only problem: once the engine is running, I don’t turn the car off if the signal is lost. So thieves can drive until the tank is empty – or even refuel with the engine running. And the ADAC warns: If the vehicle is found, this type of theft rarely leaves any traces, which can lead to problems settling claims.

The list of affected cars hardly makes the manufacturer look good: Audi, BMW, Citroen, DS, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Renault, Seat, Skoda, Toyota or Volkswagen All models offered that can be easily driven from the farm in the test. A few of the KTM, BMW and Ducati motorcycles ADAC tested were also irresistible either.

But there is hope: since 2018, some manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Audi, Seat, Skoda and VW, have been using new technology. The use of so-called ultra-wideband (UWB) computer chips prevents the signal from being stretched. In this case, the vehicle can accurately determine the actual distance of the switch and only unlock if the signal propagation time is reasonable, that is, it comes directly from the switch.

Motion sensor is not enough

In 37 cars tested, the motion sensor in the key should provide added safety. Here the transmitters turn off their function as soon as no movement is detected for a certain period of time. However, because the shutdown takes some time and the switch continues to send signals for a few minutes, ADAC classifies this type of anti-theft protection as inadequate. The club explains that once thieves pursue the victim, this sensor is no longer an obstacle.

Run away at the speed of a snail: a thief steals an electric car at 16 km/h

If you own a car on the list and want to get something done, ADAC’s advice is like a bitter pill. You are only safe if you deactivate the function. The fact that the add-ons costs, which are usually subject to additional fees, were free as a hard blow. According to the report, home remedies to extend the signal do not work at all.

Aluminum packaging without effect

In discussion forums, for example, one often finds advice to wrap keys in aluminum foil to prevent the signal from being transmitted. ADAC states that shielding is not always optimal or quickly becomes permeable due to damage.

If you do not wish to turn the function off, the Automobile Club advises that you keep keys indoors as far away from doors and windows as possible. Unsurprisingly, similar advice applies to motorcycles, and the ADAC also notes that a motorcycle should always be secured with additional locks. Locking disc brakes with a chain lock (ideally on a ground anchor) makes stealing more difficult.

source: ADAC

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