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New Car Theft Strategy Targets Remote-Start Cars, but There Is an Easy Way To Protect Yourself

There’s no question that modern technology makes some things in life much easier. We can order groceries from our smartphone, catch a cab through an app, and connect with anyone in the world through a simple video call. However, technology also makes other not-so-desirable things easier– like car theft.

A new form of car theft called ‘relay car theft’ has emerged, and it occurs when thieves use a car’s keyless entry system to steal a car. The thief will trick a car into remote starting itself and then drive away into the sunset without the owner ever realizing what’s happened.

What Is Relay Car Theft?

More and more vehicles are coming with a remote start feature, and while this feature can be handy, it can also leave cars susceptible to theft if the owner is unaware of the risks.

How does relay car theft work? It only takes three easy steps. If your smart key fob is within a transmittable distance of your car, someone nearby with a hacking device can track your fob’s signal, replicate it, and trick your car by using the reproduced signal to start your vehicle.

How To Protect Yourself From Car Theft

There are a few different car hacks you can employ to protect yourself from relay theft, and this Toyota car sales manager has a genius solution. He suggests you turn off your key fob signal if you’re not using it.

@weinsautogroup How to minimize car theft in two simple steps. Disclaimer: Milan Novakovic is the New Car Sales Manager at Thornhill Toyota so this tip works with Toyota vehicles. #toyota #cartheft #preventcartheft #carstealing #cartip #cartips #toyotacar #toyotacars #toyotacanada #toyotalife #toyotalifestyle #toyotahub #toyotafam #toyotafamily #cartricks #catsoftiktok ♬ original sound – WEINS Auto Group


With Toyota’s fobs, you can simultaneously press the unlock and lock buttons to deactivate the signal. If the signal is off, there is no way for someone to hack the signal. Then, when you’re ready to remote start your car, just turn the signal back on with the press of a button.

Other people like to keep their key fob stored in a metal container. Since the signal can’t be transmitted through metal, using a special wallet or handbag designed to block transmission is an easy remedy.

Since the signal can pass through the walls of your home, storing your fob in a metal at home is also a good idea to help with theft prevention.



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