By on April 3, 2007

2006-02-03_car_break-in222.jpgA couple of months ago, Autoblog revealed that you could open a locked Mazda3 by smacking the door panel. Shortly afterwards, they posted a video demonstrating how to unlock a car using a tennis ball. Car owners and manufacturers greeted the revelation with indignant outrage. How dare these “anyone with a keyboard” communicators tell the whole wide world how to commit an illegal act? Clearly, the automotive community hasn’t grasped the lessons learned by the computer security industry.

In the billion dollar world of computer software, whether or not to disclose a potential security hazard is a genuine dilemma. On one hand, software developers don’t want nefarious forces to know that their product is vulnerable to attack. The law (i.e. the DMCA) is on their side, and they’re not afraid to use it. On the other hand, users have a compelling desire to know if they’ve bought a product that may endanger their intellectual property. 

Thankfully, the users’ needs usually prevail. In this day and age, keeping a computer security story under wraps is more difficult than hiding a new Subaru Impreza from the press’ prying eyes. Inevitably, word gets out, warnings are sent, breaches repaired.

Unfortunately, the same pattern does NOT apply to vehicular vulnerability. Security issues are suppressed, the press isn’t bothered and automakers keep their distance from both problem and patch.

And so Mazda3 owners who learned about the door trick via the web were understandably irked. While it’s easy to focus on the anger they felt towards the messenger, the deeper and more important antagonism fell upon Mazda’s head. Why did the Ford subsidiary design such an easily defeated locking mechanism? When did they know it was game, set and match criminal, and why didn’t they do anything about it? What ARE they doing about it?

As is the way of such things, Mazda3 owners will eventually get over this entire incident. They’ll quickly learn to manage the “additional” (if only perceived) risk by changing their behavior (e.g. altering their parking geography) or adding defensive technology (e.g. upgrading their security system). Either that or they’ll do nothing and continue to take their chances, feeling slightly less secure. Until they don’t.

From a corporate PR POV, Mazda played it exactly wrong. The automaker failed to capitalize on their customers’ brand loyalty by quickly acknowledging the problem. To their credit, when they did put their hands up, Mazda also admitted that other of their vehicles may be susceptible to the same technique. But they refused to name names, ostensibly “protecting” the very consumers their slipshod door design had left vulnerable.

Vehicles from various manufacturers are prone to the same door lock weakness. But that doesn’t excuse Mazda’s piss-poor crisis management. Mazda violated the three rules of news containment: speed, honesty and transparency. They should have immediately admitted the door lock problem and honestly addressed its ramifications. Which are, in fact, none.

The majority of automotive alarm systems are nothing more than what security guru Bruce Schneier calls “security theater.” All those plips and beeps and flashing headlights may make owners feel better about leaving their car behind, but they do little to decrease the actuall odds that the vehicle will be violated. Immobilizers? Random key codes? High tech gadgetry be damned. Anyone with the motive, means and opportunity can pwn your car just as quickly and easily as a hacker can pwn your Windows server. 

Car security companies like Crutchfield promise “When the bad guys see you have a security system, they'll most likely move on to an easier target.” But there’s precious little statistical science behind the claim. Common sense suggests there are far more important variables in play: the aforementioned spoils on display, whether or not your car is being stolen to order (for a chop shop or export), the likelihood of a rapid counter response, etc.

Whether a thief has to rap your door with his fist or hurl a brick through your window simply isn’t a mission critical issue– for them. Truth be told, most owners would prefer the former.

Car manufacturers know that the modern car alarm is little more than a psychological security blanket. But they’re happy to perpetuate the illusion of impregnability, rather than add genuine security (which would require some serious usability and affordability trade-offs). The now ubiquitous car alarm is an important sales-oriented gimme: a cheap way to convince the buyer that the manufacturer cares about protecting the customer’s property rights. And it makes the car seem more valuable.

When Autoblog pulled back the veil, telling the world that thieves had discovered a new way to break into Mazda3 owners’ cherished whip, the likelihood that a crime would be committed didn’t alter. The information simply reminded Mazda3 owners that if they leave a handbag or briefcase in their backseat overnight, they’ll probably be filing an insurance claim in the morning. 

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51 Comments on “False Alarm: The Truth About Automotive Security...”


  • avatar
    Alex Rashev

    I think the only truly effective anti-theft device is a GPS locator. You know, the one you can use to find out where your car is at the moment. Anything else is not worth the money.

    I often leave my car with the top off and windows down, so I got used to not keeping junk lying around.

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    For a while, the street parking in front of our condo was suffering 1-2 breakins a night. The sidewalk was covered with glass constantly (gotta love downtown ATL). What was getting stolen? Nothing of any value, but if it was visible in the car, it was gone (as one unfortunate fellow who left some Tide in his car discovered). They eventually caught the crooks, but it was a reminder that every car has something in common with Microsoft — vulnerabilities in windows.

  • avatar
    troonbop

    When car break-ins were a problem in our street, we were advised to leave the doors unlocked and save damage.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Mazda should have owned up to it immediately and offered something… knowledge is power after all. I remember when the kryptonite bike locks were shown to be ineffective – the company immediately came up with a fix. thats the correct thing to do.

    Car alarms are rediculous… here they go off at all hours and seem to be on the stupidest cars – they are a fashion accessory. Kinda like a fur coat on a toothless has been.

    Pay your insurance, stop worrying. And stop anthropomorphizing your car! its ONLY a car, it can be replaced. Lock it up, remove EVERYTHING, and good luck.

    And if you are so worried about something happening to your car, you probably should not drive it – There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States — one death every 13 minutes.

    http://www.car-accidents.com/pages/stats.html for more.

    Just a bit of reality checking.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I like silent pager alarms for cars, Alpine makes one, that alert you to the break in and allow you to load your .45 and greet the intruders properly.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Great article.

    For two years I lived in a Houston apartment complex. During that time my car was broken into 3 times (each time I lost Van Halen II and U2 October CDs!). Car alarms were useless and every time we got a good lightning storm, which are very frequent in Houston, the alarm of every other car would get set off by thunder – try to sleep with that going on!

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    I bought a 1995 USA M3 used. Since it didn’t have a remote control for locking, I just left the car unlocked all the time. About 2 months later, my friend pointed out that the black case that contained the owners manual and stuff also had a spare key in it… and that I probably shouldn’t leave it in the door pocket especially with the car unlocked!

  • avatar
    philbailey

    My tow truck driver can get into any car, even a BMW. It cost him $2000 for the tools and he charges $185 for the service, but it can be done.

    At a security conference I attended in the UK, the AA was complaining that it took up 36 hours to unlock a Mercedes, by acquiring a new key. (Up to 50% of their service calls these days are to unlock doors).

    One Irish locksmith stood up and said “I can get into any Mercedes in less than 30 minutes”. The German reaction? “Ve MUST have lunch”!

    We have run into situations where someone leaves a car running with the dog inside. Dog jumps up to the window and pushes down the lock.

    Dealer advice? Break the window. A $400 value!
    But it ain’t necessarily so.

    The smart villains can always find a way.

    And when all is said and done, a tow truck overcomes all the security devices. Once the wheels are off the ground, it’s game over. The villains tow them away, park them somewhere and wait a week. If no one shows up, then there can’t be a tracking device installed.

    The owners best bet is replacement insurance.

  • avatar
    NickR

    I don’t know, but I’ve helped a few hapless souls who locked their keys in the ignition, and I can still get into a lot of vehicles with a coat hanger.

    Of course, their are practical limitations, but from what I gather the single most effective theft deterrent is a pit bull inside the car.

  • avatar
    jconli1

    People always tell me I’m crazy for leaving my car doors unlocked, but a $150 stereo is a good bit cheaper than $250 door glass…

    In the motorcycle industry, we tell people, “If someone wants to steal it, they’ll steal it.” and no one seems to flinch. Funny that people don’t grasp that as easily with their cars as well.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I respectfully disagree with this article. Car theft is a crime of opportunity. Most cars that are stolen aren’t stolen because they are on some “gone in 60 seconds” hot list. They are stolen because they are easy to steal. A good car security system involves layers of security… for instance: 1. a backup battery, and a backup alarm, when one is cut the other keeps going. That’s very frustrating for the average car thief who wants to be finished as quick as possible. 2. a brake/steering wheel/shifter lock – added to other security it’s very effective. 3. lojack – of course. 4. a silent pager – if you are parked nearby you can get there before they’re finished (bring your dog/weapon of choice). 5. a hidden starter kill switch – if it’s hidden good, even a towed car will have to be sold for parts. Plus most car theives don’t use towtrucks. As you can see, if you use 3 or more of these techniques you significantly reduce the chance that the thief will keep trying to steal your car. They need to finish quick. I have had the alarm on my Integra cut and I’m convinced that the thief took off because there was a brake lock and a kill switch on my car. If not I’m sure my car would be gone.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Car alarms are useless and always have been. I’ve found that an old-fashioned Club on the steering wheel is more of a deterrent. Not that a thief can’t steal the car it’s just more of a hassle. If you want to keep your car safe then something GPS like Lo-Jack is probably your best bet.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    Several years ago Dateline did special. They showed these 2 14 y/o kids steel a RX-7. They picked the lock, turned off the alarm, hot-wired the car and drove away. From start to gone from camara range it took them 15 SECONDS!
    If a pro wants your car they will get it. Even a security guard standing in front of it can be defeated if they want it bad enough.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    A hacksaw to the steering wheel makes the Club useless. It’s easier to get past than an alarm.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    On a side note, the computer world has found a mostly used compromise. If a weakness is found by anyone honest, they report it to the company who then starts looking for a fix. Generally, the company is given about 30 days to disclose it to customers, which means that the fix is often given out rather than a warning. This can vary depending on the type of software, but with the exception of Microsoft, it works well.

    Microsoft, is of course a walking security breach. They and others who don’t come up with fixes or warnings get reported on the internet and in magazines.

    So, yes, the car manufacturers have a right to be mad about the disclosure if they were not given any time to make a recall, or warn their owners before someone told all the miscreants. However, at some point, the owners have a right to know.

  • avatar
    AKM

    There are huge car theft rings in Europe, bringing the latest mighty (mostly) german toys over to various lawless regions such as the Balkans and the Caucasus. And yes, thank you, TTAC, for pointing out that most security features are just “feel-good” gimmicks with no actual safety value.
    As GPS systems go, good car thieves know how to disconnect them. The proof? A few years ago, the armorer MB S600 corporate car that was the ride of choice of a certain Jurgen Shrempp got stolen while he attended a 15mn meeting! The police immediately tried tracing the car in cooperation with MB engineers, and even sent the information to Interpol….nothing ever came up!

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Once I owned a Chevrolet Celebrity that was 8 years old and needed some body work. On morning I arrived at work, put my keys down while I got something out of the back, and went to work. That evening I went back to my car and discovered my keys and my car right were I left them.

    I had solved the theft problem.

  • avatar

    I heard an anecdote once from a guy who worked at the (then new) Nissan factory at Sunderland in the UK. They were introducing a new car and the Japanese designers thought they had a bullet-proof lock system and challenged anyone to try to get around it. Someone walked up, threw a brick through the window and hot-wired the ignition in 15 seconds. The designers were incredulous, they couldn’t believe someone would actually damage a car they were trying to steal.

    Probably just an urban myth, but amusing anyway.

  • avatar
    beken

    There was a day when I parked our Chrysler car in front of a restaurant, went in the restaurant and as we were being seated next to a window, we noticed our car was gone and the club neatly placed on the pavement of the parking space.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    I found a security system actually saves $800-1,200 at purchase, improves gas mileage and improves performance.

    Manual transmission. Most theives can’t drive stick.

  • avatar
    craiggbear

    What does pwn mean? As in “pwn your car”

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    ShearbornSean — Amen to that! I’ve seen more than one news report that involved a car thief ditching the vehicle he was attempting to steal because he couldn’t drive it.

    dolo54
    When did I talk about car theft, specifically? I bet most insurance claims aren’t for stolen vehicles, they’re for vandalism and theft of items inside the vehicle. And all the fancy ignition locks and kill switches won’t stop someone from tossing a brick through your window and making off with your stereo. Plus, if you drive an Integra, they’ll just put it on a truck and part it out… i bet most Integras don’t survive being stolen in one piece. The aftermarket drives those thefts. Such mechanical tomfoolery may deter the ordinary car thief, but if you’ve got something someone wants bad enough, it’s gone.

  • avatar
    Alex Rashev

    When car break-ins were a problem in our street, we were advised to leave the doors unlocked and save damage.

    I recall reading some VW forum where a guy would always leave his door unlocked, but one day a thief broke the window anyway, just to steal some useless junk. Ugh.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    The tone of your article suggests that one shoudl ditch all efforts to protect your car. “Such mechanical tomfoolery may deter the ordinary car thief”? Isn’t that the point? Sure anything can be stolen if someone wants it bad enough, but you just stated that having “mechanical tomfoolery” improves your chances of it not getting stolen. Btw, I live in nyc and park my teg on the street every day… and my radio hasn’t been stolen because it’s a factory model that has a lock code if disconnected from power. So obviously some factory protections work… “knocks on wood”.

  • avatar
    Caffiend

    My wife’s friend had a Camry stolen last week. They were arrested after a high-speed chase. Drove over the stop sticks, shreding all four tires. Previously had stolen the stereo and carved out the A/C vents! Who steals A/C vents? Made a mess of the car. Now she has to fight the insurance co to total the car, and she had to pay the impound $300 to get her car back!

  • avatar
    dolo54

    a good friend has his teg stolen and it was recovered in one piece due to his lojack… “The villains tow them away, park them somewhere and wait a week. If no one shows up, then there can’t be a tracking device installed.” yeah lojack works.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    I would always leave the top to my Alfa down. I would rather them steal the radio than cut my top open to steal it. I never worried about it being stolen, only I could drive it, I had a little trick to my stick that made it hard for friends to drive when I told them how to do it. Ironicly some bum stole the remote to my CD changer but left the $4 in change sitting right next to it. That sucked I had to listen to my CD’s contunious after that, no skipping or changing disks.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    Sorry to keep posting, but this is on-topic. I think a homebrew deterrent, but what a deterrent! arm-breaker

  • avatar
    philbailey

    Where I live, 70% of theft is joyriding, 25% is for parts and 5% is for export. And yes, tow trucks DO feature regularly in theft situations.

    Breaking & entering is a different matter and is almost beyond protection.

    In the UK thieves actually write “stolen car” on the trunk lid and wait for the cops to give chase.

    Which leads to another problem. Lojack is OK, I suppose and it’s called Boomerang in my part of the world, but you wouldn’t believe how many cars we see that have been thrashed to death.

    The engine blow-ups and transmission failures usually occur a few months after the insurance claims file has been closed.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Megan:
    The majority of automotive alarm systems are nothing more than what security guru Bruce Schneier calls “security theater.”

    Great point. Schneier is correct. However, he does NOT advocate a complete abdication of security. Good security requires, as you say, affordability/usability tradeoffs that MOST people refuse to make.

    For cars, there are systems to slow down good thieves and deter casual ones. (Silent pager alarms – backed by a 911 call and/or your own weapon, lojack, and manual transmissions are good ideas). So is a garage.

    A good proactive idea is the auto equivalent of what Schneier calls ‘honeypots’. ‘Honeypots’ are lightly protected false network data with enticing labels (like “CCards Nums”) used to track hackers when they look into a system.

    Cops could entice thieves with more ‘lock down car’ stings in areas where professional rings operate. This, of course, ASSUMES that the police actually care about stopping the ‘business’ of car theft in your area. To quote Schneier, “Security is a system, not a product.”

  • avatar
    kjc117

    Problem is the laws concerning theft not alarms, cops, or technologies.

    Mazda did screw up the PR on the 3.

  • avatar
    evohappy9

    A Polish friend of mine has assured me that GPS/Lojack systems are exceptionally simple to overcome. In eastern Europe the theives have tractor trailers lined with tin foil – the cars are loaded up and the GPS/Lojack is disabled at the theives leisure.

  • avatar
    SwatLax

    Actual example of the car security offered by a stick shift:

    “CARJACK TRY // A gunman tried to steal a physician’s late-model BMW about 8 a.m. yesterday outside Concentra Medical Center in the 8100 block of Pulaski Highway in Rosedale but was unable to operate its manual shift. The doctor, who was not named, escaped injury and the would-be carjacker fled on foot.”
    – Baltimore Sun police blotter 9/08/06

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    In eastern Europe the theives have tractor trailers lined with tin foil – the cars are loaded up and the GPS/Lojack is disabled at the theives leisure.

    What does tinfoil do that the thicker sheet-metal that the trailer is made out of doesn’t?

    kjc: I don’t think I follow – What problem is it that is the laws concerning theft?

    Too lenient? Too strict? Not enforced by slow, agonizing death? (Too lenient, again, I guess.)

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    What if the thief wears a hat made of tinfoil while driving a stolen car — will that foil LoJack?

  • avatar
    Chaser

    I think the key words were “Polish friend”. I wonder how quickly he can hotwire a bicycle?

  • avatar

    pwn=own
    More from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pwn

    “The slang term Pwn (see pronunciation note below), used primarily in the Internet gaming culture, means to soundly defeat an opponent. It is sometimes used for taunting of an in-game enemy and rubbing in victories. It can also be used, especially by non-gamers, in the context of getting “pwned” by The Man.

    In internet security jargon, to “pwn” means “to compromise” or “to control”, specifically another computer (server or PC), web site, gateway device, or application; it is synonymous with one of the definitions of hacking. An outside party who has “owned” or “pwned” a system has obtained unauthorized administrative control of the system…”

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    “Redbarchetta:
    April 3rd, 2007 at 3:40 pm
    A hacksaw to the steering wheel makes the Club useless. It’s easier to get past than an alarm.”

    Very true. And it’s even easier and quicker than that. Once inside the vehicle, spray the Club with freon or a similar substance and give it a good whack with a hammer. Job done.

    I can’t stand car alarms and resent having to pay for them even if they are supplied by the manufacturer. And I will not accept any vehicle that has had an aftermaket alarm installed. By anybody.

    As Megan wrote, the modern car alarm is little more than a psychological security blanket. Sales of these devices rely on humans’ emotional equilibrium that is fundamentally dependent upon the illusion of possessing much more control than we actually have on our circumstances (among other things).

    I understand that my vehicle can be stolen at any time. That’s what I have insurance for.

  • avatar
    skor

    @SherbornSean:
    I found a security system actually saves $800-1,200 at purchase, improves gas mileage and improves performance.

    Manual transmission. Most theives can’t drive stick.

    A female acquaintance and her husband returned home from vacation a couple of years ago to find that their garage had been broken in to. The woman’s Infinity had been stolen, but her doctor husband’s BMW was still in the garage with the driver’s side window smashed out. They couldn’t understand why the thieves broke the window on the BMW since nothing was taken from the car. Later the police explained that the thieves broke the window on the BMW only to discover that it was a manual trans car and they didn’t know how to drive it.

  • avatar
    allen5h

    troonbop: When car break-ins were a problem in our street, we were advised to leave the doors unlocked and save damage.

    I remember when I worked in downtown Chicago there was a co-worker who drove an old beat up small pick up that he would leave the doors unlocked to save his windows. They STILL broke his window to gain access to the screwdriver and pliers in the glovebox. Go figure.

  • avatar
    confused1096

    Several years ago thieves cut the top of my brother’s Jeep open to steal his speakers. Note that he had LEFT THE DOORS AT HOME. I think some scumbags just like to destroy peoples stuff.
    A friend, after having 2 premium audiosystems stolen out of his truck, came up with an effective theft deterent system. He bought one of those create a message tint strips for his windshield. Once he had “Audiovox” across his windshield noone bothered with his truck anymore.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    Good article, Megan.

    But so far, nobody has taken this conversation to the place IT NEEDS TO GO.

    Oh how we love to whine and piss an moan about auto security (or web security, or home security, or personal security, and so on), vandalism, and theft, yet we will not do anything long-term to prevent it.

    To me, the ONLY long-term solution is get the criminals off the streets and to keep them off the streets for longer periods. But we are NOT doing this. It’s obvious, just watch your nightly news show and witness the endless parade of human trash that freely roams the streets and commits crimes while having a rap sheet as long as a freight train.

    The great majority (over 90%) of crime is perpetuated by a small repeat-offender minority (less than 10%).

    If we really wanted to reduce crime (of ALL types), all we need to do is lock up the repeat offenders and keep them off the streets for longer periods of time.

    In any event, we are obviously not angry enough, or maybe just not tough enough to do this. Maybe because of this, we’re not deserving enough to be free of the physical, financial, and emotional PRISON that crime puts law-abiders into.

    I’m very sorry to sound pessimistic, but I really am! As I was reading Megan’s article, I found myself hoping to read SOMEBODY advocating a crime/punishment solution here, but all I hear is more of the same. “Pit bull in the car”, “A pager will give me time to load my .45”, “Freon in the Club and a hammer”, and of course, the usual sad tales of “how my car was stolen”.

    It’s all just talk. You folks, though you may be good-hearted and have good intentions, don’t mean any of it, nor do you really intend to do anything about it, do you?

    Folks, I think we’re starting to sound like a bunch of little old men and little old ladies sitting around telling stories of “the bad old days.”

    Only the bad old days are HERE AND NOW!

    I’m extremely frustrated with how we have all just ROLLED OVER to show our soft underbellies to the criminals.

    Will SOMEBODY other than me please make mention of tougher penalties for theft? Whenever we lock up the criminals and keep them locked up, crime goes down! How can THAT be a bad thing?

    There was once a time when horse theives could be hanged. The people of that time knew then, and we seem to have forgotten now, that the protection of the rights of personal property holders was paramount to the success of this country. And because of this, theivery was not an oft-committed crime.

    It should be obvious to all that the law-abiders are unwilling to stand up for their own rights. But right now, the only ones that it’s obvious to is the law-breakers, because they are thriving!

    I am deeply worried that we are simply getting in return what we as a society are willing to tolerate. To put it another way, we are getting what we deserve.

    More crime, of all kinds and all severities.

    Which brings more cost, from higher insurance premiums, to the dealer and aftermarket add-ons of useless car alarms and tired, unworkable “club” devices, to increased injury and death rates among the law-abiders who are hurt or killed by criminals allowed to remain on the streets.

    And the price is paid by the victims. Or the families of law-abiders, and seemingly never by the law-breakers.

    This goes BEYOND simple automotive security. But automotive security might well be a good place to start.

    I say it’s time for a “rethink” of the status-quo. And please spare me yet another tale of how some theives overcame your “club” or your best friends’ ignition kill switch or the latest Lojack technology. Likewise the stories of how some juvenile delinquents starred on some damned reality show to prove that they can break into a car with a wad of chewing gum, a used syringe, and a bobby-pin in less than a minute.

    Puh-lease!

  • avatar
    AKM

    Now, this is an automotive forum and not a political or law enforcement forum, but I would like to respectfully point out that crime rates are at a very low point overall in the US (Northeast in particular).

  • avatar
    Michael R.

    Follow these three steps and you’ll never, ever have to worry about auto theft again:
    1. Never leave anything of value visible when you park your car.
    2. If your home is equipped with a garage, park your car inside.
    3. Buy replacement insurance.

  • avatar
    noley

    My approach is to have cars that are less likely to be stolen. In our house that happens to be Saabs, which while in addition to being somewhat hard to steal (except for the tow truck option) are in low demand. Low demand means chop shops ignore them, they aren’t “cool” enough for joyriders, the radios have codes or are “married” to the car computer, and no one steals Saabs to order for shipment out of the country.

  • avatar
    kansei

    For anyone who cares, Mazda DID know about this problem and in the EDM and JDM models of the car, there is a reinforced door lock mechanism. I don’t think the US models have this yet though?

  • avatar
    Cavendel

    craiggbear asked:

    What does pwn mean? As in “pwn your car”

    It means “own”. It comes from some video games where one player would kill another player. Instead of typing “I own you”, they would miss the “o” key and hit the “p” key. The mis-types happened regularly and a new phrase was born.

  • avatar
    rossjk

    Don’t leave valuables in your car…. ever. If a thief wants your car, he’ll get it, but my experience is that they’re more interested in the petty theft of stuff on the seats.

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    dolo54
    There is a difference between an ignition lock and an obnoxious siren. Only one acts as a deterrent (hint: it’s not the siren). I didn’t say to ditch all the security mechanisms, I just think people need to understand how fundamentally useless they all are to a determined thief. The parallels to information security run pretty deep. Getting all upset because a blog posted that there is one more way to break into a mazda3 is ridiculous.

    ZoomZoom
    Let me guess, you’re an Ann Coulter fan?

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    Not that it really changes the point of this article, but everybody here knows that the tennis ball unlocking your doors thing was a joke, right?

    To put it more simply…. it doesn’t work folks.

    However, it’s pretty easy to make a video that makes it look like it does. You just have to make sure that the guy with the key fob isn’t in the picture…..

  • avatar
    nino

    Why is everybody surprised about the Mazda3 door lock?

    The first generation Mazda RX7 could be opened by a flat blade screwdriver inserted under the door handle.

    Easier than the key even.

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