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What is Relay Attack Car Theft?

Relay Attack car crime is a method by which thieves steal cars that have keyless entry / start systems. The criminals approach a parked vehicle (usually on a driveway) and hold a relay box against the front of the house in order to receive a signal from the vehicles key. The relay box can scan through the house walls to pick up a signal from the car key. This is then transferred to a second box which is being held by an accomplice standing by the car, the vehicles system is then triggered into thinking the car has been opened by the key after which the thieves are able to drive away in the vehicle.

What can you do to avoid it?

There are several ways to avoid relay attack car crime, the easiest and quickest action is to set the keys to “sleep mode”:

  1. The SMART keys of current generation Toyota models (Yaris, GR Yaris, Yaris Cross, C-HR, Corolla, Camry, Hilux, RAV4, Highlander, Prius, Land Cruiser) have a sleep mode or battery saving mode. This prevents the signal being transmitted until the key is re-awoken by pressing any button.
  • Whilst holding down the ‘Lock’ button, press the ‘Unlock’ button twice (Confirmation is given by four flashes on the key fob)
  • The Smart entry / SMART start functions are disabled until any button on the fob is pressed again.
  • It is also highly recommended to carry this process out on the spare key when it is not currently being used.

Other options are available and listed below;

2. When not in use place the key in a Faraday pouch: Toyota have designed one specifically for your Toyota vehicle, part number GBNGARFIDBAG.

  • It is advisable to also place the spare key in a Faraday pouch – the Toyota pouch is designed to fit two standard keys.

3. Park your vehicle in a secure area – can the vehicle be garaged?

4. Driveway security posts.

5. The SMART entry / SMART start function can be completely disabled using the customisation feature. This is probably not ideal but is available as an option which can be completed following the steps in the vehicle customisation menu of the multimedia display.