Victims of keyless car thefts should sue car manufacturers who kept quiet about flaws in remote locking systems and return the vehicles to dealers, the lawyer known as Mr Loophole, Nick Freeman has said.
Last year, keyless vehicle thefts accounted for 40% per cent of all cars stolen in London alone.
Freeman (pictured) has said owners of cars on the ‘at risk’ list – which include certain models made by Volkswagen, Audi, Kia, Porsche and Lamborghini – have a legal right to demand compensation for their loss.
Freeman said: “It is clear that the manufacturers of these cars have been misleading buyers over their security claims, and they have compounded this deception by maintaining a wall of silence over the vulnerability of these cars to theft.
“Their advertising campaigns include reference to, amongst other things, the car’s security systems when they were harbouring information that their remote control security systems could be easily hacked, and this information was not passed on to their customers.
“This deception is an utter disgrace and they should be made liable to any relevant financial loss sustained by their customers, including any inflated insurance premiums.”
“My advice to customers who own one of these cars is to contact their dealer and demand that the problem is rectified, failing which, they should invite the dealer to buy the car back.”
Yesterday it was widely reported that university researchers from Britain and Holland have found that immobilisers fitted to more than 100 car makes had weak security that could be cracked by hackers, in some cases within minutes.
Volkswagen has taken High Court legal action to stop their findings being published, stressing the firm went to “great lengths” to prevent “unauthorised individuals access to our cars.”
The researchers, Birmingham University’s Flavio Garcia and Roel Verdult and Baris Ege, from Radbound University in Nijmegen, fought the ban, saying they identify security flaws so they can be fixed.
They said their research started after police claimed cars were being stolen “and nobody can explain how”, according to The Independent.