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Tesla stolen in Sheffield

News of Tesla Model S vehicles being stolen in the Dore area of Sheffield hit social media recently, with the vehicles having pin to drive enabled it was initially a mystery on how they were stolen.

"Pin to drive" was a welcomed software update that was applied over the air to the Tesla vehicles back in 2018. This allowed owners to set a 4 digit pin code on their Tesla that needed to be entered prior to driving. If you didnt enter the correct pin, the car would not start even if you had your key.

This is a very similar feature to the standalone Ghost immobiliser (available for the majority of cars) from Autowatch. However the Ghost immobiliser uses your vehicles buttons to be programmed as a code entry. For instance, volume, cruise, heater and steering wheel buttons can all be configured as a sequenced code to allow you to start your car.

A great security feature to stop your car from being driven away should the criminals clone your key, extend the reach of the keyless entry mode or even steal your keys.

If they don't know the button sequence to start the car then it will not move.

One of the Tesla's was recovered around the corner from where it was stolen from and it had a smashed passenger window along with most of its dash ripped out. It became apparent the Tesla Model S's were stolen by circumventing the pin to drive security by ways that we cannot share here. What we can tell you is that this vulnerability is apparently only on the older Tesla Model S and X's with the MCU1 (AP1) computer. This is normally applicable to Tesla's built prior to the end of 2016/beginning of 2017 and you can check which MCU you have by looking at the Software tab on your main display.

The bad news is, we suspect that criminals may target Tesla's by looking at their vehicle registration to get a rough idea of their age, if they think that you have an MCU1 then they may smash a window to gain access and then begin to dismantle your dash to plug their computer in to see if they can hack and circumvent your pin to drive security.

There are things that you can do to mitigate thieves taking your Tesla and potentially stopping them smashing your car window. Fitting a steering wheel lock can be a visible deterrent and these fit the Tesla steering wheel (click the photo for the local on amazon).

You could have a Ghost immobiliser installed on your Tesla. Even if the thieves managed to break in, they would not be able to start your Tesla when a Ghost Autowatch immobiliser is installed. Security window stickers can also be a good deterrent.

We supply these FOC with Dashcam, Tracker and Ghost Immobiliser installs.

What is a Ghost immobiliser?

Car immobiliser
Car immobiliser

A Ghost immobiliser is an extremely discrete device that is hidden and integrated within your vehicle's electronics, that is undetectable from modern vehicle hacking devices.

If a criminal or thief attempts to steal your vehicle, with or without a cloned key or even your own key, it simply will not start and is totally immobilised.

Ghost autowatch
Ghost autowatch

The Ghost Autowatch 2 is not a generic immobiliser, it is a market leading immobiliser that speaks with your vehicle to immobilise it. Similar to having a pin code on your mobile phone to stop people from accessing your phone, the only way to enable your vehicle to start is to enter a code using your cars own buttons. This can be a sequence of buttons such as volume up, volume down, source, cruise, aircon on, etc. This sequenced code is programmed by you, no one else will know this code.

So, even if someone were to break into your home and steal your car key, they simply will not be able to start your car to drive it away.

To disable the Ghost Immobiliser, when you enter your car just press the sequence of buttons and then start your car as normal. The sequence of buttons you press are your choice and can be changed when you wish. The sequence can be between 4 and 20 buttons long which would be impossible for someone to try and guess!

We are TASSA registered, DBS security checked and system trained to install the Ghost device and once installed your vehicle is registered onto a database and you will also receive documentation to show your insurance company, as they naturally love these devices! (Depending on which insurance company you are with, you can also enjoy substantial discounts off your premiums, effectively allowing the unit to pay for itself, especially when you sell your vehicle, you can have this removed and reinstalled allowing more insurance discounts!).

Criminals can also break into vehicles and create their own key to start your car on some makes by using a programmer in the OBD (Onboard Diagnostic) port (normally in the drivers footwell). Should someone try to create a key or cloned key using your vehicles OBD port, the Ghost will actually stop this from happening.

There is also a Service / Valet mode that you can enable when your vehicle is in for service. This makes the Ghost invisible to the garage however if certain requirements are not met the Ghost will automatically enable itself again.

Ford Transit vans and Land Rover / Range Rover's are a few of the highest sought after vehicles and attract criminal activity so having a ghost immobiliser professionally fitted will stop your vehicle from being stolen.

Ghost Immobiliser features

✔️ Immobilisation by communicating with the ECU

✔️ Disarm via buttons on steering wheel / dash

✔️ No transmitted radio frequency signals

✔️ Uses the on-board CAN data network

✔️ User changeable disarm sequence

✔️ Service mode, disarm sequence never compromised

✔️ Secure emergency code if disarm sequence forgotten

✔️ Mobile app connect to 2 phones to allow quick disarm


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