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‘Poor’ keyless security rating for DS, Mazda, Toyota and Volvo

‘Poor’ keyless security rating for DS, Mazda, Toyota and Volvo models

Susceptibility to keyless ‘relay attacks’ has resulted in ‘Poor’ security ratings for the DS3 Crossback, Mazda 3, Toyota Rav-4 and Volvo S60, in Thatcham’s latest round of testing.

In March this year, the Ford Mondeo, Hyundai Nexo, Kia ProCeed, Lexus UX, Porsche Mecan and Toyota Corolla, were also rated as ‘Poor’, due to their lack of protection against theft from keyless entry manipulation.

Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer at Thatcham Research, said: “Theft claims paid by insurers in the first quarter of this year were at their highest for any quarter since 2012, with a payment made to a car crime victim every eight minutes. These figures demonstrate why the automotive industry must move to secure keyless entry/start systems, many of which offer criminals the chance to quickly and silently circumvent otherwise robust physical security.”

Of the seven new cars tested, four have keyless entry/start systems susceptible to the Relay Attack and have therefore been rated Poor – whether optional or standard.

However, were it not for the keyless entry / start vulnerability, all the cars assessed would have earned a Good rating or better, according to Billyeald.

Manufacturers including BMW, Porsche, and Ford have recently introduced fixes to secure vulnerable keyless entry / start systems; with Ford recently introducing a new, more secure fob for its latest Fiesta and Focus model ranges.

Latest Thatcham security ratings:


Rating without keyless entry / start penalty

Rating with keyless entry / start

BMW 7 Series






DS3 Crossback



Mazda 3



Porsche 911



Toyota RAV-4



Volvo S60



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  • The Engineer - 24/06/2019 09:07

    This is so unacceptable in new models, its such an easy 'fix' without any modifications to the vehicle, just the key. A small cheap motion sensor added in the key and a slight change to the software so that the key no longer responds to requests a short while after not being disturbed, such as on the side or hung up at home. Reawakening once moves such as picked up or on your person. In the mass scale of things its about a £5 tops modification. There are endless things on most cars that cost that much we could happily do without if it meant something important like your car still being there in the morning instead! You could imagine they don't mind your car being stolen, presumably as it means more sales for replacements!

  • Buckets - 24/06/2019 11:21

    This is a known risk that we communicate to all of our drivers. They have to take measures to protect all keys and access cards using a faraday cage wallet. We also advise them to secure their keys in their homes and offices against burglary. If they have not taken these precautions, insurance claims may be affected and may result in a misuse of company property procedure. They can claim expenses for the wallets or ordered via our stationary process. We all need to bridge the gap between manufacturers efforts and the current situation, otherwise we are going to see insurance premiums rise far higher than the short term cost of protection.

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