Some people think of Teslas as a type of super-powered car, immune to the foibles of regular vehicles. In reality, while they may not bleed oil like some, you can still steal them. For the most part, theft of Teslas in North America is unheard of. Thieves who’ve tried were caught within minutes, thanks to the vehicle GPS tracking system.
But a group of thieves in Europe has found a way around that. They’ve also developed a mysterious hack to drive the cars away from owner’s parking spots, driveways, or anywhere else.
We already know, thanks to a Chinese white hat hacking team, that you can swipe a vehicle with a smart key by replicating the signal, using a fairly unsophisticated setup. The hack lets you drive off with the car, but you can’t restart it afterward. That’s good enough to get the vehicle to a chop shop, and that’s exactly what these European thieves are doing with Teslas.
One chopped-up Model S was discovered in the back of a truck trying to enter German from the Netherlands. Those parts would be worth quite a bit, especially the battery and motors.
A Dutch news site called nrc.nl says as many as 9 Teslas were stolen without a trace in one week. Considering Teslas aren’t mainstream vehicles yet, that’s an alarming number.
According to Electrek, Tesla is working on a new software update to combat this problem. There’s no word when it’s coming.