Car Style Blog News Ford Fights Back Against Keyless Car Theft With Sleeping Key Fob

Ford Fights Back Against Keyless Car Theft With Sleeping Key Fob

In the last few years, vehicle theft of cars that have smart entry systems has been on the rise.  Some carmakers have started selling faraday cage pouches to protect smart key remotes. Also, many local dealerships and automotive locksmiths have been as well.  Ford is the first company to come up with a technical solution to address it.  Ford has added a sleep mode to the key fob of the 2020 Focus and Fiesta. The technology will be extended to the rest of their models in the future.

Thieves have been targeting car owners whose cars use proximity or smart entry (keyless access) vehicles.  They do it by using a relay device that detects the proximity signals from the transmitter in someone’s home and relays it to the car to open the doors.  This leads to the theft of personal belongings and trim items inside the car. With some vehicles, the thieves can even start the car and drive it away.  

Ford’s answer is a new key fob containing a sensitive motion sensor like in cell phones. If this detects the key hasn’t been moved for more than 40 seconds, the fob puts itself into sleep mode. This reduces the chances of anyone with a relay theft system from stealing and re-using its coded transmissions. 

The moment the key fob detects movement it awakens and beings to transmit its proximity signals once again.  The key fob will be fully functional by the time the owner has walked to the car, according to Ford. Also, the key fobs are designed to work only within two meters of the vehicle. 

Ford security specialist Simon Hurr said: “The online availability of devices which have no place in public hands has long been a problem for Ford, our industry and crime fighters. We are pleased to respond with a simple but effective solution – swiftly implemented to help protect owners of our top-selling cars.”  

2020 Ford Fiesta and Focus models are already being delivered with the new key fob technology.  But what if your Ford isn’t a Focus or Fiesta? What if it is older than 2020? How will you protect your vehicle from these types of thefts?  Luckily a company called Remotes And Keys has developed a Key Fob Faraday Pouch – that anyone on a budget – who has a smart key remote, can use to avoid these problems.  One simply keeps the key fob in the pouch until they are ready to enter the vehicle. At that time, pull the fob out. When parked and ready to leave the vehicle, put the fob back in the pouch until you need to access or drive the vehicle again.
Security testing experts at Thatcham Research recently released new ratings for cars that highlighted the makes and models most vulnerable to keyless theft. Every Make that has smart access / keyless access systems in their vehicles are on the list.  Every car Make is working on improving the security of their smart access / keyless access equipped vehicles. That won’t help unless you plan to buy a new vehicle so get a faraday pouch to protect your fob’s signals before it’s too late.