Hundreds of popular cars vulnerable to keyless theft

Consumer group Which? has warned that many of the UK's most popular cars are susceptible to keyless theft.
The German General Automobile Club (ADAC) tested 237 keyless cars (models that unlock and start automatically when the key is close by) and found that thieves can easily trick 230 of them into thinking that the key is closer than it really is, enabling them to unlock and start the vehicle. Another four models could be either unlocked or started.
The only three keyless cars tested by ADAC that were not susceptible to such attacks were from Jaguar Land Rover -- the latest models of the Discovery and Range Rover, and the 2018 Jaguar i-Pace.
Thieves use relay boxes -- cheap electronic equipment available online -- to fool a car's keyless system.
Analysing the research data, Which? found that four of the UK's top five best-selling cars -- the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Qashqai and Ford Focus -- were vulnerable to relay attacks. Only the Vauxhall Corsa was deemed safe from such attacks, because it is not available with keyless entry and start.
"With more than one car being stolen every seven minutes, it's important that people can feel confident in the security of their vehicle," commented Harry Rose, editor of Which? Magazine.
"The fact that so many cars on the road are susceptible to keyless theft simply isn't good enough. We want manufacturers to up their game when it comes to making their vehicles safe from theft."
If your car has keyless entry, consider the following tips from Auto Express to reduce the risk of theft:
1. Don't forget the basics -- ensure your car is properly locked and keep the keys away from doors and windows. It's also worth keeping your car keys in a metal case or a Faraday pouch to block signals.
2. Investigate whether it's possible to switch your key's signal off, as some offer this function.
3. Use an aftermarket security device such as a steering wheel lock, a driveway parking post or even a wheel clamp to deter thieves.