A Tesla got stolen on camera in seconds with a keyfob hack, but it’s preventable. Here’s how you can help prevent your Tesla from getting stolen.

Last week, a Tesla owner reported a Model S stolen from his house during the night in London.

The house was equipped with a Ring video camera doorbell, and it captured the entire theft.

It took only a few seconds (via the Daily Mail):

The thief holding the wire remains stationary for a few seconds before he sees that his accomplice has begun to reverse the Tesla off of the drive.

Here’s the video from the Ring:

They appear to have used a traditional keyfob relay attack, which affects vehicles with keyfobs, not just Tesla vehicles, and consists of copying a keyfob signal and extending it to the vehicle in order to unlock and drive it.

How to prevent Tesla vehicle theft

A previous report showed that stolen Tesla vehicles in the US have almost all been recovered: 112 out of 115.

In Europe, they have some more sophisticated thieves that managed a string of Tesla vehicle thefts through relay attacks, and most vehicles haven’t been recovered.

In response to those attacks, Tesla started rolling out extra layers of security with “improved cryptography” key fob and optional “PIN to Drive” feature.

If an owner activates the “PIN to Drive” function (go to Controls > Safety and Security > PIN to Drive), anyone entering the car will have to know your PIN in order to be able to drive away.

Even if a thief can get around that, the owner can track the car through the Tesla app.

They could disable tracking in the setting, but Tesla pushed an update last year to require entering your Tesla account password in order to disable tracking, making it a lot tougher to steal a Tesla vehicle.

Some people are still stealing them, but at a much lower rate than the average car.

We have seen stolen Tesla cars being tracked live through the Tesla mobile app to help the police.

Electrek’s Take

While owners have to activate some of those security features, awareness is increasing the take rate, and it has to become more and more difficult to steal a Tesla.

Another report that came out earlier this month showed that Tesla vehicles are about 90% less likely to be stolen than the average car.

The crazy thing is that in this new case caught on camera in London, it appears that the Model S was a loaner from Tesla.

The company probably doesn’t activate PIN to Drive for loaner vehicles. Looks like the thieves got lucky.


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