The ‘Unstealable Cars’ that Are Being Stolen

Last night I had trouble sleeping after taking a well deserved nap in the afternoon. There I was, 2 am, tossing and turning while Cindy slept like a dead person. So I got up and read the latest copy of Wired, which as usual provided fascinating material.

Apparently there are many people who have had their cars stolen in spite of the new high tech gadgetry that makes it ‘impossible’ to start the car without the chip-embedded key. One man from Florida had his Lincoln Navigator swiped even though he still had all three keys. Many insurance companies, faced with $40 billion in fraudulent claims, are denying that the cars could have been stolen…but they were!

The author shows how thieves can hack their way into any car or ignition suppression device, by clever means. On Honda Civic hybrids, for example, there is a special sequence of pulling up the emergency brake, then turning the wheel, for each car. Once you get the right sequence, you can start it up without a key. The poor guy with the Navigator was still paying his $847 per month payment and had no car, fighting with the insurance people about the claim. The other common hack was to remove a fuse from a Ford, this too would foil the device.