Four out of seven cars have been rated ‘poor’ for security in tests by UK research organisation Thatcham Research, after the cars were found to be at high risk of being stolen because of their keyless entry systems and inadequate safety measures.
The security tests were launched by Thatcham Research earlier this year to help drivers find out which cars are susceptible to being stolen, and also to encourage carmakers to secure their vehicles against the security flaws.
Models from Toyota, Mazda, Volvo and DS received a ‘poor’ rating, while newly launched cars from BMW and Porsche received the best rating – ‘superior’.
Keep reading to find out more about the cars that have been tested.
Our tough tests reveal the top cars for 2019.
- In January, we revealed that four of the UK’s top five best-selling cars could be easily stolen, after the German testing body ADAC found that 99% of the 237 keyless cars it tested could be easily unlocked and started by thieves.
- Back in March, Thatcham Research revealed other cars were vulnerable to thieves, including the Ford Mondeo and Kia ProCeed.
New cars with ‘poor’ security
Thatcham’s tests found that thieves can easily trick these new cars into thinking that your key is closer than it really is, using the relay method.
This enables thieves to lengthen the signal produced by your key, fooling your car into thinking it’s nearby, so they can unlock, start and steal your car.
On the tested models, keyless entry was offered as an option or as standard-fit.
When bought without the keyless entry system fitted, the overall security features of the cars ‘would have earned a good rating or better’, explains Chief Technical Officer at Thatcham Research, Richard Billyeald.
So if you’re in the market for a new car and want keyless entry, Thatcham Research is advising you to ask at the dealership if there’s a fix available to protect it from the relay attack.
Want to know if your new car will be reliable? Make sure you check – see our car reviews.
Thatcham’s security test ratings
Thatcham’s security tests assess the keyless entry and start system of the cars. It then assigns ratings to the cars. These are:
- Superior, Good, Basic, Poor, or Unacceptable
New cars with ‘superior’ security
If the sensor detects the fob hasn’t moved for a short period, it idles and goes into sleep mode. This prevents criminals with a relay attack kit from extending the range of the signal between your car and key.
Thatcham Research’s Billyeald comments: ‘We’re seeing solutions applied to some new cars, let’s see them applied to all.’