Tesla Thefts Are on the Rise in Europe
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Tesla enthusiasts routinely claim the cars are immune to all the problems associated with modern vehicle ownership. One example is theft. The 1997 Honda Accord may be the most stolen car in America, but Tesla thefts in North America are almost unheard of.
However, a rising amount of Tesla thefts in Europe is showing that the car is vulnerable. Teslas have been disappearing in various European countries. Almost without exception, the electric cars have disappeared without a trace. This is a real mystery that has left Tesla owners wary and police baffled.
Without a Trace
The thieves are stealing these notoriously expensive electric vehicles at an alarming rate. For example, local news stations in the Netherlands report that in one week’s time, nine Teslas were swiped in one region of the country.
One victim in the Netherlands has security footage of the theft. He said a man was hanging around his Tesla, using a laptop. Within moments the guy was in the car and just drove off.
Hack and Chop
Police in the Netherlands have found evidence of what happens next. Recently, a truck trying to leave the country and enter Germany was stopped. It was carrying a chopped-up Model S.
In other words, these sophisticated thieves are relying on the age-old chop shop to move the stolen merchandise.
Nobody knows for sure how these criminals are getting into Teslas and driving off, all without a key. At least, if anyone knows, they’re not saying. According to Electrek, Tesla’s working on a software update to correct the problem.
We already know, thanks to a Chinese white hat hacker group, that you can pretty easily hack a smart key signal. This hack gives you a one-time shot at opening the vehicle and driving off. The logical thing to do is chop it up, because you’ll never start the motor again.
Teslas have a sophisticated GPS tracking system onboard. Like what you can get in other high-end vehicles, it allows the owner to track location in real time. The theory is these thieves have either learned how to remove the SIM card to disable tracking, or have a GPS blocker on them.
The European Tesla thefts isn’t welcome news. The company is about to launch what could be its most critical vehicle to-date, the Tesla Model 3, and is dealing with plenty of other controversies. Tesla stock has taken some hits, dropping below GM after once being the most valuable American car manufacturer.
If these thefts continue, investors could be spooked. In reality, this news just shows Tesla is susceptible to the same problems as regular modern cars. Vehicle theft, unfortunately, is always a risk. Determined criminals will always find a way.