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Model S - Easy or Hard to Steal?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by astrotoy, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. astrotoy

    astrotoy Member

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    We are just about to take delivery of our Model S. It is ready! My wife is concerned that the SF East Bay, where we live, was just named as an area with one of the highest frequency of car thefts. We have a carport - so the car is visible. Is a Tesla hard or easy to steal? Sorry if this has be asked and answered. Thanks.
     
  2. tdiggity

    tdiggity Member

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    I don't think it's likely. Of course you'll still need comprehensive insurance. But, I'm thinking that most cars are stolen to be parted out. The Model S has such a small user base that you wouldn't be able to offload the parts anywhere.

    The mobile app lets you track the car, so you can notify the police right away. They won't get far without charging, too!
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I don't think they could move the car without either (a) the key FOB, or (b) a flatbed truck. And they'd have to drag the thing onto the flatbed; the rear wheels aren't going to move.
     
  4. Velo1

    Velo1 Member

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    A locksmith friend of mine looked hard at my locked S and said "I can get in it, but I'd have to shatter the side window, but there is no way to hot wired the car from what I can tell.". Take it FWIW.
     
  5. GreenDot

    GreenDot Member

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    Yeah, it seems to me that it to Velo1's point there is no way, by traditional means, to steal the car. That said, if someone finds a way to hack the software (with the integrated WiFi, ability to remotely unlock, etc), it would be one of the easiest cars to steal. Just gotta hope Tesla has locked that down well and folks that would want to steal the car do not have that expertise.
     
  6. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    interesting question: Have any Leafs or Roadsters been reported stolen?

    would be an interesting data point for EV owners in general.
     
  7. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    A former work associate of mine has had his cars stolen at least 4 times. Usually happens in a shopping center parking lot: Two guys show up, one pretends to be the owner standing there all concerned-looking while the second guy is hooking it up to a tow truck. Passersby don't give it a second thought.

    If your car is going to get stolen, it's going to get stolen. Just make sure you have adequate insurance.
     
  8. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    It would be a significant theft prevention aid if the phone app off/on switch in the car could only be toggled with security code. If someone stole an MS, they could not disable the phone app and the owner could watch the stolen car all over the world in real time.
     
  9. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    The new smartphone app allows the car's location to be tracked. Without the key fob, I believe it would be difficult for someone to fully power down the car through the touchscreen and prevent tracking. Perhaps tracking would still work anyway, I don't know.
     
  10. gaswalla

    gaswalla P4201/85/airsusp/pano/19i

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    I had a LEAF... Would have been hilarious if someone stole it... They would at best get 50ish miles away, or more likely, they would speed off and make just across town. I only wish someone would have stolen that car.
     
  11. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    And since they can't put it in JACK mode, there is a danger the car will wobble and roll the flatbed off the road.

    I'd put theft as very unlikely.
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    There have been a couple of Roadsters stolen, e.g. http://www.rxdxt.com/crime/, but as far as I know the car has always been recovered.
     
  13. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I'm thinking not likely. Can't be "hotwired" in a reasonable time.
     
  14. dbullard

    dbullard Member

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    Since Tesla is the only place (currently) that can service Teslas, there is no market for the parts. I can't see Tesla service centers buying black-market parts.

    Joy riding is another matter, as is theft for resale. But with such a rare car, I think the market's pretty small for that sort of thing.
     
  15. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    I've been contemplating having automotive security film installed on the side windows to deter smash and grabs. Also, in the event of an accident it'll keep tempered glass pebbles from flying around inside the car.

    It only slows down entry though, from 1 second to about 40, so just a deterrent. On the flip side, this means in the event of an accident first repsonders can still get in to get you out.

    Here's one example:
    LLumar Automotive Security Window Film - YouTube

    Has anyone done this?
     
  16. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    If there's a will there's a way. In fact, keyless cars are easier to steal, not harder. It's not hard to hack a key fob and reprogram one to mimic another so that all one has to do is then walk up to the open and drive off with it.

    You ever hear the salesman say 'hey if your keyless fob stops working just hold it close to this spot and you'll be able to start your car'. Yeah...that's called a bypass module. All the keyless cars have them. And all the car thiefs know how to use them. They don't need your fob to steal your car. Case in point - if you drive a keyless BMW you're car is a joke to steal. Using the on-board diagnostics, all a thief needs to do is get in the car, plug into the OBD, punch in a few numbers, and voila, they've just made themselves a new key to the car. http://autos.aol.com/article/keyless-bmw-theft/

    Also, to put it in another perspective, these keyless fobs basically operate in the same fashion as your garage door opener. You know how you have to hold down buttons on your garage remote to sync up with your car's homelink so you can use your car to open the garage door instead of the remote? Yea...same difference. Exact same procedure can be done with your key fob. And THAT's how easy is to steal a keyless car.
     
  17. Hobiemon

    Hobiemon Member

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    Hmmmmm, 1 month, 10 days. Is that when you get out?
     
  18. alexkiritz

    alexkiritz Member

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    Considering that the whole car is controlled by a remotely upgradeable computer, I highly doubt that they use the same easily hackable keyless entry system as BMW. If this ever happened to a Tesla it would just take one firmware upgrade to fix the problem.
     
  19. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree. But some day someone curious will figure it out. There's a lot of smart people buying this car - a lot of tinkerer's, lots of electrical and software engineers (including myself). These key fobs typically use RFID tags, radio frequencies, and encryption. Likely both active and passive RFID. (active is transmitted by radio frequency when you push the button, "passive" is when you are holding your fob near the bypass switch at which part the car is scanning your fob for the key instead of the fob transmitting it to the car). One Hopkins study proved they could crack a key fob using 40-bit encryption by scanning several times in less than a second sitting nearby using nothing other than a cheap laptop, antenna, and an RFID scanner. A simple brute force algorithm applied until several matches were found, then using that data to predict the sequence and reprogram another RFID and then they're done. Here's the study http://www.technologyreview.com/view/403642/hopkins-students-crack-rfid-security-system/ And that was 8 years ago. Computer are a LOT faster now. But hopefully car fobs are using something more than 32/40 bit keys. I'd hope at least 128. It's certainly not for the average thief, you'd have to have some technical knowledge. But for those that are technically literate, this is not really a difficult thing to do.
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    And those who are just out for a joy ride typically lack the skills to hack the system. Also joy rides are opportunity events rather than pre-planned events, so even if you have someone with a kiddie script they aren't likely to have it on them when they spot your car. Professional thieves generally steal to order and there isn't much you can do to deter them.

    I'd expect this to be more of a problem in Europe as there are countries where over 80% of the cars on the road are stolen (according to some of my European acquaintances).
     

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