Toyota manuals fail to warn of remote-locking flaw as company claims
No warnings about potential flaws in the remote-control locking mechanisms of Toyota vehicles could be found in the owner's manuals, as claimed by a senior official at Toyota Motor Thailand.
A check of the manual for the Soluna Vios small saloon turned up no warning that the factory-issued remote control could be vulnerable to signal interference. The entry on the vehicle's remote-control lock simply explains how to use the device.
Manas Daomanee, technical service director at Toyota Motor Thailand, said earlier that the vulnerability is mentioned in Toyota's manuals for car owners.
A test conducted by The Nation on four makes of cars - three Japanese and one American - found that signal interference can block their remote-control locking mechanisms.
The test found this vulnerability to exist in most medium-sized and smaller cars, but larger Japanese and European makes were not affected. Also, the vulnerability appears to be an issue primarily with remote controls issued by automobile manufacturers. A test on after-market remote controls showed they could not be disrupted.
The flaw leaves open the possibility that thieves could hide in car parks and use their own devices to jam a remote-control's frequency and then gain entry to the unattended vehicle. In more serious cases, criminals may use their devices to prevent owners from entering their cars, leaving them vulnerable to assault.
Paiboon Chuangthong, an engineering lecturer at King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, yesterday advised motorists to make sure their car doors are locked after using a remote control. This is to ensure that thieves do not abuse this flaw in the remote-locking system to steal items from their cars or to steal the vehicles.
Car manufacturers should address this problem in order to rectify the flaw and improve safety for car owners, he said.