The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I really would like to drive this car rather than leaving it in the garage and worrying so I have been thinking about anti-theft devices.

I found the following interesting. Curious what the others think.

--------------------------------

The Baltimore County Police Department has been participating along with Baltimore City Police and the State's Attorney's Office in a grant funded project entitled the Regional Auto Theft Task Force. Part of the mission of the group was to do research on the problem of auto theft, in addition to investigating auto thefts and enhancing arrests, thereby reducing the number of incidents regionally.

Specifically three questions surfaced as needing answers from the research:

Does the use of an anti-theft device make a vehicle less susceptible to being stolen?
Is a thief deterred from stealing a car that uses an anti-theft device?
Is any specific device more effective than the other?

FINDINGS:

During the period of study, from June 1 to October 31, 1995 there were 2,411 vehicles reported stolen to the Baltimore County Police Department. Of that number, 930 vehicles were recovered within the same time frame. The results of this study are based upon the physical examination of 739 (79%) of the stolen vehicles that were recovered. The findings are as follows:

Anti-Theft Devices are a deterrent to thieves.
The survey showed that 95% (701) of the recovered stolen vehicles either did not have an anti-theft device, or did not use it. Only 5% (38) of the recovered vehicles were found to have used an anti-theft device which was defeated.

"Kill switches" may be effective and would prevent many vehicle thefts.
72.4% (535) of the vehicles had their ignition defeated, either by pulling out the ignition switch or by breaking the steering column. ( A kill switch is most often a toggle switch hidden in the car which the operator flips when exiting. The switch deactivates the ignition system. Some alarms automatically deactivate the ignition when they are set off.)

Too many owners leave keys in vehicles/engine running.
25% (181) vehicles had keys in the ignition.

Most vehicles were locked.
Physical force was used to defeat 62% of the vehicles in the study. However 38% of the recovered vehicles were unlocked at the time of theft.

CONCLUSION:

Too few car owners use anti-theft devices.

The "CLUB" was the most prevalent anti-theft device present. It was also the least often used device (ie: In car not attached). Three important points to note about the club are:

It's low cost makes it affordable.
It is one of the few anti-theft devices that is visible to thieves. (Deterrent)
A device, no matter how sophisticated, cannot be effective if it is not used.

It is concluded that the project's goal of determining the effectiveness of various anti-theft devices can only be achieved after the public uses these devices more often.

Therefore,

Lock your car
Take the keys with you
Use an anti-theft device.


:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Immobolizers

Our cars come with one of these:

Electronic immobilizers

Among all types of anti-theft devices, electronic engine immobilizers protect you best against vehicle theft.

Electronic immobilizers require a special key or small electronic device to start a vehicle's engine. Usually you attach this to your key ring.

When activated, the immobilizer shuts off one or more parts of the engine's electrical system. This might include the starter, ignition or fuel system. It is unlikely that a thief can bypass these disconnected parts and start the vehicle.

For maximum protection, choose a device that will prevent your vehicle from being started even if the device is damaged or torn from the vehicle.

Insurance discount

If you install a passive [click for definition] electronic immobilizer in your vehicle, you will qualify for a discount on your Autoplan insurance.

Product ratings, year 2003

Review or print out ICBC's product ratings for electronic mobilizers on the market in 2003.


How ICBC rates electronic immobilizers

We rate electronic immobilizers on the effectiveness of their activation and deactivation sytems, and on how well their physical, visual and audible features deter vehicle theft.

:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
More on Immobolizers

According to John Douglas, the Vice President of Public Affairs for Manitoba Public Insurance, one of the reasons auto theft rates remain high is because the average age of a car in Manitoba is 12 years.

New vehicles coming off the assembly line are protected by anti-theft devices such as electronic immobilizers and are subsequently much harder to steal, leaving older cars more vulnerable.

In an effort to protect older vehicles, MPI launched a program in September offering policyholders complete financing if they install an aftermarket immobilizer in their car.

MPI will pay for the immobilizer and the installation, and allow customers to pay off the total cost over a period of 12, 24 or 36 months on their monthly insurance premium.

While no system guarantees to prevent auto theft, an electronic immobilizer is considered by crime reduction specialists to be the best defense at preventing drive-away theft of a vehicle.

On its own, an electronic immobilizer doesn’t look like much - a black box with a jumble of wires coming out of it. The box holds a computer, which is installed behind the dash and the wiring gets integrated with the vehicle’s wiring. An antenna is placed around the ignition switch, which sends a signal to a transponder (computer chip) kept on the driver’s key ring. As soon as the driver puts the key into the ignition, the vehicle can be started. Without the transponder, the vehicle will not start.

The immobilizer arms automatically once the vehicle is shut down, and the best immobilizers cut three vital circuits in a car (versus one or two) such as the starter, the ignition and the fuel supply. In the case of a factory-installed immobilizer, it can also lock out the engine control module.

In 1998, the Vehicle Information Centre of Canada (VICC), a division of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) created a standard for immobilizers as a means of gauging the relative effectiveness of one system over another.

Insurers were being asked to provide premium discounts to their customers, and had no means to assess the value of the wide variety of theft deterrent devices available, all claiming to prevent auto theft.

With a standard, VICC created a benchmark for Canadian insurers to evaluate the effectiveness of immobilizer systems in order to make recommendations to their clients and to enable premium discount guidelines. A Canadian standard exists for both factory installed and aftermarket immobilizers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The Solution!!

Either way, Miller says his company is fighting back. Honda has made
RealVideo

QuickTime

Windows Media


immobilizers standard equipment in all its models. And it's introduced other security features such as parts marking, locking wheel nuts, and VIN plates that can't be removed.

"I think you can do a lot of things to make (cars) more resistant to theft," says Miller. "Can you make them theft proof? No."

I know! I'll buy an Accord and park it next to the Elise!!!


Miller says thieves are persistent because there's a lot of money in car theft and not a lot of risk.

"For the professional thief, as we get smarter they get smarter."

One way thieves are getting smarter is by turning their attention to older cars that are easier to steal. Recent statistics suggest they now prefer vehicles that are at least eight years old.

We showed Miller videotape of someone stealing a 1993 Honda Accord, and wondered if Honda felt any responsibility for older cars that don't have the new security features?

"(Car makers) can't go back and retrofit," says Miller. "There are aftermarket security systems that (drivers) can buy, but... The vehicles at the time were built with the latest technology. Things have come along since the vehicles were built, to augment security of vehicles."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,721 Posts
Heh... my "kill switch" on the scout: put the gas tank selector 1/2 way between the two tanks; can't drive farther than the gas in the float bowls will take you (about 10 ft). My deterrent is that the thing is as ugly as sin.

Guess I'll need something higher tech for the Elise. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,315 Posts
Another point to note here though is that exotic cars stolen by professionals do not attempt to start the car. They bring along an enlosed trailer, hoist the car in, and are gone. I try to park in very visible areas as being overlooked helps prevent theft. The Elise is rare enough to be considered a target for this kind of theft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,195 Posts
I'm curious to see how the alarm is wired on the Elise.

On my Mitsubishi, the 'backup' alarm disarm (in case you lost your key fob) was simply the key switch, so someone could break the window, set off the alarm, and then break the key switch and the whole immobilizer/alarm would disarm. Totally nuts.

Worse yet, using the key in the DOOR would also disarm the alarm -- so picking the door lock or wrenching it with a screwdriver would totally defeat the factory alarm and 'immobilizer' as well -- never a peep.

So it's possible to have good hardware and stupid wiring.

I'm a big fan of the ECU<->key transponder lockouts -- no key transponder, no spark or fuel. Expensive and difficult to rip & replace.

In the first stats above, 5% of the stolen cars had some kind of 'club' on them. Well, if only 5% of the parked cars had a club, that implies they are TOTALLY ineffective. Stats..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
479 Posts
GHC said:
Anti-Theft Devices are a deterrent to thieves.
The survey showed that 95% (701) of the recovered stolen vehicles either did not have an anti-theft device, or did not use it. Only 5% (38) of the recovered vehicles were found to have used an anti-theft device which was defeated.

[stuff deleted]

CONCLUSION:

Too few car owners use anti-theft devices.
As Ground Loop points out, this is faulty logic. You cannot infer anything about the cars that the thieves did NOT choose by looking at the cars that they DID choose. If 5% of the vehicles in the total population of vehicles have anti-theft devices then the fact that only 5% of stolen-and-recovered vehicles have anti-theft devices on them means that having an anti-theft device has zero effect. The article even mentions that cars in Manitoba are older and so anti-theft devices are rare. To know the true effectiveness of the anti-theft devices and the frequency with which they are used, you have to have statistics for a sample of cars that is unbiased with respect to being stolen or not.

FWIW, I do put a club on my Spyder which also has an engine immobilizer. I figure the club is visual deterrant for joy riders. Nothing will stop a determined theif though...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,269 Posts
My current insurance provider informed me that Lojack is what they want us to have. Alarms are not as important to them and that is why large discounts in comprehensive fire-theft are given when
lojack is installed. (25% NY - 35%NJ).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,195 Posts
My provider only offers 15% discount for LoJack, so the math doesn't work out as well.

When I asked, they said it has to be a 'stolen vehicle recovery system', not specifically LoJack. I'm guessing http://www.networkcar.com would work as well.

LoJack is useful only in the case of theft, while networkcar has some goodies that might be fun to have regardless. The downside is that it has a monthly fee.

I'll have to do the math again when I get the insurance rate for the Elise -- maybe 15% is worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
adamant said:
Another point to note here though is that exotic cars stolen by professionals do not attempt to start the car. They bring along an enlosed trailer, hoist the car in, and are gone. I try to park in very visible areas as being overlooked helps prevent theft. The Elise is rare enough to be considered a target for this kind of theft.
YIKES, well I guess they will bend the hell of the suspension or the frame (see other thread on getting towed) and no one will be happy ... not me, not the thieves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
I hope I don't have to eat my words, but Ireally don't worry about the Elise being stolen. I am sure most are aware the most stolen cars are high volume cars like Camry's etc. to break down and sell parts that are much harder to trace (though all the major body panels now have VIN's on them).

I just do not see the market for stolen Elises. If you are going to steal a car that only sells a few thousand a year, I suspect you will steal a high value car like a Ferrari, AMG M-B, Porsche Turbo etc. for export to Russia, China etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,201 Posts
Plus the engine is a Toyota. Wouldn't it be easier to just steal a Celica?

The remaing parts can only be sold back to a very limited Lotus customer base.

I don't think I will worry about the pros stealing an Elise. And the joyriders probably can't do it when electronic immobilizer is activated.

Carjacking -- well, I don't think it is legal to just shoot the bad guys just because the assholes are robbing you. One of those excessive force thing, I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,301 Posts
agent.5 said:

Carjacking -- well, I don't think it is legal to just shoot the bad guys just because the assholes are robbing you. One of those excessive force thing, I guess.
Once they learn how hard it is to get in and out of the car, I don't think carjacking will be a problem:D
 
Q

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Sorry... internet illusion.. was reading too fast.

I read it twice, fast...

My bad.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top