Tesla owners will be relieved to know that while parked idly and not spontaneously combusting, their “safe” vehicles can be stolen in less than a minute. There’s even video evidence to prove it.
Footage was posted from a security camera at home in the United Kingdom showing two hooded thieves stealing a locked Tesla in about 30 seconds by “hacking” the car‘s computer and fooling it into thinking that its key was nearby, according to the Mail.
A doorbell camera caught the security footage that showed two people using what looks to be a relay wire system to relay the key’s signal from the house to the car. Because wireless keys emit a short signal that extends about 2 meters, thieves can easily amplify the signal and relay it to the car from outside of the house.
The car’s owner said: “It was absolutely shocking how quickly it went.” You can view the video here:
We wrote just days ago about now it was now possible to many steal newer, technologically “advanced” cars in as little as 10 seconds using similar systems. In a test performed by “What Car?” magazine, seven car models with keyless entry and start systems were tested to see how quickly they could be stolen. The results? An Audi TT RS was stolen in 10 seconds and a Land Rover Discovery Sport was stolen in 30.
Security experts performed the tests using the same type of technology that’s commonly used by thieves. They measured the amount of time it took to get into the vehicle and drive it away. The BBC notes that car theft rates in places like England and Wales have reached eight year highs and that more than 106,000 vehicles were stolen in 2018 alone.
Additionally, insurance claims for stolen vehicles hit their highest level in seven years at the beginning of 2019. Claims for January to March were higher than for any other quarter since 2012, according to the Association of British Insurers. Keyless car crime was part of the blame, the ABI said, but it did not have exact figures on what proportion of claims were for keyless vehicles.
After being stolen, the cars are usually stripped for parts, which for many owners may be the only recourse to fix their broken Teslas courtesy of that famously terrible Tesla service.