Thatcham Research has updated the security rating on the Porsche Macan to ‘Superior’ as new information around the specification of a motion sensor function on the key fob has been provided by Porsche Cars (GB).
Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer at Thatcham Research, welcomed the clarification from Porsche. He said: “Vehicle manufacturers are beginning to offer solutions and fixes to keyless entry/start vulnerabilities, with Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes and Porsche really taking a lead. We expect others to follow suit quickly.”
Thatcham Research launched a new security rating on March 21, to help consumers better understand the theft risk of new cars against a backdrop of rising vehicle thefts. Car theft has increased by 27% compared with 2017 and, last year, UK insurers paid out a record £376 million on car theft claims. Keyless entry/start is one of the causes of this increase.
The new ratings assess all aspects of vehicle security, with measures to specifically highlight if the keyless entry/start systems are vulnerable, and if the OBD port can be compromised for the coding of keys.
Billyeald concluded: “Our general advice for any worried drivers is first and foremost to understand if your vehicle has a keyless entry/start system or not, as it is often an optional extra. If it does, check whether there are solutions available with your key fob – can it be turned off overnight or does it go to sleep when not being used?”
The Thatcham Research Security Rating is based on the New Vehicle Security Assessment (NVSA) that Thatcham Research conducts for as part of the overall Group Rating process on behalf of its insurer members.
However, in addition to the NVSA scores, vehicles will be further rated to reflect whether they have ‘fixes’ for known vulnerabilities such as with keyless entry/start systems. Subsequently, any vehicle that now goes through the Thatcham Research Security Rating and has a keyless entry/start system that is vulnerable, or has keys that can be coded through the OBD port without any form of authentication, will automatically achieve a ‘Poor’ rating.