Toyota South Africa is enhancing security systems on all their 2017 models and onwards due to the increase in related vehicle theft cases locally and globally. These upgrades are expected to significantly decrease future theft incidents.
Any authorised Toyota Dealer may conduct the upgrades - at no cost to the customer. What’s more, the entire Toyota Dealer network has duly been notified about all applicable technical instructions.
All Toyota upgrades commenced on 5 December 2022. From this date, all applicable new vehicles sold have been and will be delivered with said upgrades included. Likewise, all relevant vehicles in operation will automatically be upgraded during routine services and maintenance.
Alternatively, customers are advised to contact their Toyota dealer to enquire about these security upgrades and whether their vehicle model is a candidate for the upgrades.
Keyless Car Crimes Uncovered
High-end vehicles with keyless entry mechanisms are in high demand – particularly on the black market for stolen cars. As a result, car thieves are now hitting motorists with “Relay Attacks” and any vehicle brand with a Keyless Entry system is susceptible to this sophisticated crime.
Relay Attacks occur when criminals gain unauthorised access to a vehicle using high-tech equipment to amplify and remotely transmit the key code to the parked vehicle, enabling them to unlock and start the vehicle without the key fob being physically present.
According to Carte Blanche, approximately 200 luxury keyless vehicles are stolen every month in Gauteng alone.
Toyota vehicles with Smart Entry have an inherent feature that prevents a Relay Attack from happening. This feature can be activated by the customer as follows:
With all doors shut, press the “Lock” button on the remote.
Immediately press the “Lock” button on the remote for the second time and hold it depressed.
Whilst holding the “Lock” button depressed, simultaneously press the “Unlock” button on the remote twice.
The keyless entry system will be temporarily disabled.
Confirm that the feature is set by either operating the driver door handle/’’Unlock’’ button on the door handle as applicable. The vehicle should not unlock.
To unlock the vehicle, press the “Unlock” button on the remote. This reactivates the keyless entry function.
The above procedure must be followed each time the keyless entry system is required to be disabled.
Consult your Toyota Dealer should you require further clarity on the use of this feature.
Taking Extra Precautions
Barker strongly advises that our clients take additional precautionary measures to safeguard their vehicles:
Invest in aftermarket devices such as steering locks, gear locks, and additional aftermarket immobilisers. Installation of these devices will not void the vehicle's warranty, provided the devices are installed by an insurance-approved installer.
Place your key in a Faraday bag or “fob guard” when you exit your vehicle in a public area. The materials from which these pouches are made essentially block the signal emitted by the keyless entry fob, so the criminal is unable to intercept it.
Business Day recently provided additional insightful tips to protect your car.
If you have any queries or concerns, please reach out to your Barker consultant.