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Keyless Cars: A Thief’s Dream

» Posted February 11, 2019Resources | Share This Post

Keyless entry is an increasingly popular option for new car buyers. Anyone who has scoured a room frantically searching for missing keys can understand the draw of being able to start a vehicle with the simple touch of a button.

But there’s also another group of car drivers out there who are getting a kick out of going keyless. Vehicle thieves are finding ways to hack the technology to swipe cars.

More than 200 car models are susceptible to keyless theft according to a new report from a British consumer advocacy group. The organization says thieves can buy “cheap electronic equipment” online to essentially trick the keyless system. Keyless cars often require the user to waive a fob or similar device to get inside the vehicle and start it. But “relay boxes” can be used to strengthen the device’s signal, making the keyless system believe that the fob is right in front of it instead of in the owner’s home or office.

The German General Automobile Club tested 237 keyless vehicles commonly available in Europe. It found that 230 of those models were at risk of being hacked. Some car makers have responded by urging owners to put their keyless FOBs in a metal box or other protective receptacle.

When Keyless is Deadly

Theft isn’t the only risk for keyless car owners. Dozens of people have been killed by accidentally leaving their cars on inside closed garages, according to the New York Times. Another 45 people have been injured by carbon monoxide poisoning from keyless cars running in enclosed spaces.

Keyless entry is now standard on roughly half of the 17 million new cars sold in the United States each year, according to the Times.

Let Our Los Angeles Lemon Law Attorneys Help You

The keyless theft risk is the latest sign of some of the unintended consequences of new technology in cars. The good news for California car buyers is that state law provides some protections in the event that your vehicle doesn’t work as expected. California’s lemon law forces car makers to fix certain defects while the vehicle is under warranty or compensate the owner if the problems can’t be addressed.

If you’re a California car owner who’s stuck with a lemon, you have the right to consider legal action. The Los Angeles Lemon Law attorneys at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state. We understand the law and we know how to build the strongest possible claims for compensation. Our firm does not charge upfront fees in most cases.

Our offices are conveniently located in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.


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"Had nothing but problems with my car. Jordan did a great job with getting Honda to listen and ended up settling. Im so glad Bickel helped me."

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