Archives For NOT Protected by VIPER

The Range Rover, a luxury SUV.
Credit: Wikipedia.

Don’t think your SUV is less of a target because you’ve removed loose valuables from the interior.

Some thieves aren’t looking for your electronics devices or your briefcase or what have you. No, they want your third row seat!

ABC News is reporting that “third seat theft” is on the rise in Texas and California.

That’s right, crooks are taking the seats and selling them for as much as $1,000. That’s a lot of loot especially for something that can be stolen so easily.

Police recommend you engrave your vehicle’s VIN number on the seat structure or using a bike lock to make it more difficult to unhinge. But frankly the latter will not slow them down much.

And they omit the most obvious solution: a superior car alarm!

Watch the video and see how quickly the robbers are able to access the truck through the back. In less than a minute they’ve accomplished their task while drawing no attention to themselves.

In our opinion, the time to thwart a thief is before they gain entry into your ride. Being able to recover the seats is all well and good, but we’d rather not have to go through that hassle.

Considering how much it costs to replace the third row at the dealership, a wise investment in protecting your vehicle is a must.

It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week — and with good reason!

Car crashes are the main cause of teenage deaths every year. AAA has analyzed data on fatal car crashes and found that 16- and 17-year-old drivers are involved in seven times as many crashes as motorists 40 and over.

Even MORE alarming is that teenagers drive worse when they’re with other teens.

For instance, they are far more likely to speed when with their peers. And as you might expect, many of the fatal crashes that occurred took place at night between 11pm and 5am.

Of course, you have to wonder if any parent would allow their teens to drive during those hours!

The report also shows that drinking and driving is on the decline — but of the young teens involved in traffic fatalities from 2005 to 2010, 13 percent were driving alone while under the influence. The number was 18 percent when there were three or more teens on board.

Guess where teens learn their driving habits? Their parents!

Read the full article here and get the scoop on AAA’s graduated licensing program.

For more on teen driver safety programs, like the one sponsored by Bridgestone, click here.

The Dodge Avenger
Credit: Wikipedia.

Here’s a story for those of you that are superstitious.

But then again, if you are, this may be exactly the type of story you want to avoid reading. Scared? Well maybe you should be: “Bad luck” on the road sure isn’t anything that we want to contemplate.

CNBC actually compiled a list of “bad luck” cars based on info from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. You can read their report here: http://www.iihs.org/.

Smaller vehicles tend to dominate the list as you might expect but there are some solid reasons for that other than size.

We were surprised that the Dodge Avenger was there in 8th place. Perhaps that’s because of its class-leading 283 horsepower V6 engine.

Apparently a lot of drivers can’t handle a little power!

Check out full coverage of this “bad luck” story from CNBC.com and Yahoo here:

10 Bad Luck Cars

Remember the story we brought you in early July about BMWs disappearing (being stolen actually) in less than three minutes?

Well if you don’t, here’s a quick recap — car thieves in the U.K. used an over-the-counter key fob to bypass the security systems of several BMWs in a matter of minutes. The fob was able to deactivate the luxury cars’ current settings so criminals could make a quick getaway and not leave a trace of evidence that the car was stolen.

Worried that BMW doesn’t care if your $30,000 investment is growing feet and running off in the middle of the night? Well rest easy, because BMW is making some serious changes to ensure that your luxury vehicle is protected.

In a statement, BMW made it clear that they want to ensure the protection of their customer’s vehicles: “All our cars meet all security standards and regulations, but as responsible manufacturers we are looking at ways of mitigating against this new kind of attack.”

The automaker said that actions they’re taking include enhancing the security on models previous to the 2011 series, and contacting owners to ensure they get the necessary work taken care of on their vehicle.

Don’t be a victim of this high-tech crime — replace that standard security system and protect your $30,000-plus investment!

Remember that we told you back in July that there’s a lesson here for car owners: Thieves will always find a way to get into your car – what you need is real-time awareness of when/where someone tries to violate your vehicle.

We asked our engineers and experts here for the best tips on just what these criminals are doing and how car owners can fight back against them.

They told us:

Number 1.      In order to steal a car, the thief doesn’t need to reprogram the key right away. The criminal just needs to bypass the vehicle immobilizer quickly using potentially bulkier equipment — and drive away. Key reprogramming can be dealt with later at a secure location with less time constraint (let’s say 15-30 minutes).

Number 2.      BMW security has a hole: It employs a relatively weak, 48-bit Hitag system that can be hacked in under 3 minutes using computer hardware costing less than $10,000. There is also a known weakness in the randomization of the security key and its dependency on the CAS (one of the vehicle’s modules) dump. Such a dump is available over OBD connector. In other words, all components for a system are available on the Internet and putting the system together does not require a lot of technical skill.

Our experts were quite sure that BWM engineers are well aware of these shortcomings and are working on tighter the security and probably on upgrading their encryption method as well. That will address BMW’s security issue — but also will make any key-cracking job harder.

Number 3.      In order to deploy such a system, one needs to bypass the vehicle alarm system. The OEM one-way security is susceptible to jamming while more sophisticated two-way systems provide real-time status feedback and have additional sensors, etc.

Get connected to your vehicle and get ahead of the criminals: Thieves will always find a way to get into your car – what you need is real-time awareness of when/where someone tries to violate your vehicle.

Watch a BMW go in under 3 minutes and a BBC report here:

BMW Owners Hit by High-Tech Theft

See the whole quick-as-lightening BMW theft video below:

We’re sure someone, somewhere in the world has failed to follow “the steps” to take after they’ve had the misfortune to have their car stolen. But seriously, do we need a list? Well, apparently so.

In 2010, auto thefts cost U.S. drivers about $4.5 billion. Although, in 2012 there has been a 3.3 percent reduction in the number of auto thefts, but that DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T EXIST ANYMORE. People get their cars stolen every day!

Now have you ever had one of those sleep-deprived days … or gotten lazy? Or maybe you parked in an unsafe area or didn’t lock your car one time and you come back to the spot to find it empty? Here is what you do.

According to this recent list from Jalopnik:

1: Make sure your car’s actually gone!  (We did say if you were having one of those sleep-deprived days, didn’t we??)

2: Now that you pinched yourself and realized you AREN’T just having a nightmare, you move on to the next step. Ask yourself if it might have been towed.

3: You should probably notify the police, right?

4: Call your vehicle security provider (if you’re lucky you have information from a Viper SmartStartGPS unit that you can relay to them).

5: Ask people nearby if they saw anything.

6: FREAK OUT. This would be a perfectly appropriate moment to let your emotions flow out. Don’t get too crazy now; you will soon be surrounded by the police!

7: Call your insurance company.

8: Look for your car online. It’s not too unlikely the thief had alternative motives, other than ruining your life, for stealing your car! Money perhaps? Maybe you can re-purchase your car vehicle and bag the crook!

9: *Sniff Sniff … Start looking for a replacement! *Sniff

10: Lastly, but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST. Learn from your mistakes!

We like this last nugget of advice the best: “Learn from it”! As in, don’t skimp on car security. And then maybe you won’t have to read the other recommendations.

Be smart, and make a vow to never have to follow these steps. EVER. Get your car protected! Choose Viper!

To read the full Jalopnik article, click here.