FORD has launched a new key fob that the company claims makes its cars impervious to “relay attack” thefts.
The upgraded wireless fob, already supplied with all new Fiesta superminis, has what Ford calls a “sleep mode” that triggers if the motion sensor doesn’t detect movement for more than 40 seconds.
Ford says this renders it impervious to car theft using “relay devices”, which amplify the signal of a fob that may be inside the owner’s house, allowing the doors to be opened and engine to be started. The device reverts to normal operation once it senses movement, such as when the owner picks up the fob when leaving the house.
The new key will be rolled out the new fobs across the Ford model range by 2021, with all Focus models built after May 2019 being delivered to customers with the new key.
Motorists who already own a current-generation Fiesta or Focus will also be offered replacement fobs with the sleep mode tech. Prices for the claimed relay theft-proof key are £65 for Fiesta owners and £72 for Focus drivers, and the car maker claims it will take about 54 minutes to programme and test the new fob.
Ford’s introduction of a relay theft-resistant key fob comes after a reported 49% increase in car thefts in the UK over the last five years, which is attributed to the rise in keyless technology. Earlier this year, The Sun found some cars with keyless start and entry (including the previous-generation Ford Focus) can be stolen using relay boxes in as little as six seconds.