Land Rover praised for swift action

Car makers are always facing new challenges in the digital age, and one of the biggest challenges is software development. Luxury British car manufacturer Land Rover has been praised around the industry for swiftly recalling 65,000 vehicles due to a software flaw, which could have been used to unlock cars. Land Rover said in a statement that even though there have been no accidents or injuries as a result of the flaw, Range Rover owners will get their software updated free of charge.

The recall affects Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models sold in the past 24 months. This follows reports that car thieves could use a handheld 'black box' to unlock and start vehicles that used keyless ignition systems. With state-of-the-art technology there is often a price to pay for being at the forefront. Land Rover is not the only car manufacturer to be targeted by car thieves, who are themselves becoming very technically minded. Other vehicles targeted include the Ford Fiesta and Focus, various Audi models, and the BMW X5.

The situation for high-tech criminals was highlighted in 2013 when Volkswagen asked the high court to ban a scientist and two cryptography experts from publishing a paper on how to crack vehicle security codes and start a car. Some of the cars included in the academic work were Porsches, Audis, Lamborghinis and Bentleys. The court concluded that the publication could lead to mass theft of these luxury vehicles.