Tesla Motors’ offerings are exclusive and expensive, and since the company’s vehicles can be accessed remotely through the internet, anyone planning to buy a Tesla would obviously be interested in knowing about the cars’ safety from a theft point of view. A similar discussion was seen on the Tesla Motors Club forum recently. It got some interesting replies and comments, and some of them were noted in a report from Clean Technica.
New-gen cars are harder to steal?
Several users shared their comments on how easy or tough it is to steal a Tesla. One of the users, “glhs272?”, said stealing a Tesla would be very difficult in the conventional “hot wire” way. There are other ways that make stealing a Tesla potentially easier, the user suggested. Stealing the “digital keys” is much easier than stealing the keys for breaking into a house. The thief is simply required to have a smartphone such as an iPhone and “social engineer an attack on someone’s user account.”
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Terming it an IT security risk, the user says an owner could “inadvertently” disclose the login details to their Tesla account, after this, the car can be found, unlocked and remotely started with the help of Tesla’s iPhone app. The thief can then turn off the remote access and drive away with it.
Another user, “Milkeash” says present day cars are hard to steal, and the majority of the cars stolen in the U.S. (a few hundreds per year) are those released in the 90s, such as Honda Accords, which are stolen at a rate of about 50,000 per year in the U.S. The user says that simple hotwiring is not going to work with new cars as they come with fancy things like immobilizers that authenticate the key with the engine control computer. New cars get stolen only when their keys are stolen or if the vehicle is left running.
A new use for a Tesla car?
A user from Spain, “DGM73?” said thieves in his country use stolen cars to smash into luxury shops and then commit burglary without giving another thought to the abandoned stolen car left there. Luxury cars such as Audis are preferred by the burglars. The user says Tesla could easily qualify for such acts of burglary.