Most popular Ford models add protection for owners in fight against vehicle theft

Ford has increased the number of models offering owners heightened protection from theft thanks to security technology which disables their keyless entry fobs when not in use to block illegal hacking.

The innovative feature has been added as standard to the multi-award winning Ford Puma, as well as to Ford’s most electrified vehicle, the Ford Kuga – the Blue Oval’s models with fastest growing sales. The Ford Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle arriving this month also benefits.

All production of the Ford Puma, which went on sale at the start of last year and has since won over 10 major UK awards, includes the motion-sensor key fobs. Ford Kuga production of the mild hybrid, plug-in and full hybrid SUV added the deterrent in July last year.

In 2019, the fob with sleep mode was introduced to Ford’s top sellers in Fiesta and Focus. The current and previous model Ford Fiesta have been Britain’s top-selling car every year since 2008. The long-running title delivered over 1,250,000 new Fiestas to UK car buyers 2009 to 2020 inclusive, also meaning thefts due to its popularity and universal presence.

Figures from security analysts Retainagroup show how thefts of the latest Fiesta, which debuted the smart fobs two years ago, have fallen by two-thirds compared with the number of previous Fiestas stolen:

Latest FiestaPrevious Fiesta
2018-2020 2009-2017
Total sold223,600 1,027,000
No. of thefts (in 2020)231 3,152
Thefts per 1,0001.03 3.06

Smart security

Keyless entry fobs of all makes of cars have been targeted by thieves with “relay box” equipment, used to extend the signal from fobs in homes to unlock and start vehicles parked outside.

A motion sensor inside Ford’s fobs detects when it has been stationary for longer than 40 seconds and triggers a sleep mode, which will not respond to attempts to hack its signal via a “relay box” or through the misuse of other specialist equipment.

Moving the keyless fob by picking it up inside the home and taking it to the car will restore full functionality by the time drivers approach their cars. Ford fobs are designed to operate only within a two-metre radius of the cars they are bonded to.

Simon Hurr, Ford security specialist, said: “The online availability of devices, which have no place in public hands, has long been a problem for Ford, our industry and crime fighters. We are pleased to extend our simple but effective solution, to help protect more owners of our most popular cars.”

Existing models can have security upgraded with replacement sleep-mode fobs, priced between £74 and £94 for Fiesta and Focus, plus 0.9 hours labour to programme and test. This is available to owners of the latest Fiesta, on sale since 2017, and of the Focus introduced in 2018.

Additionally, Ford’s Trade Vehicle Locks (TVL) security range has been relaunched and increased from 125 available locks, guards and related accessories for car and van customers two years ago to 225 security parts today.