Electric Vehicles tesla-security

Published on August 30th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro

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Tesla Model S Is America’s Least-Stolen Car

tesla-security

The Tesla Model S has changed everything we thought we knew about electric cars, and it has send shockwaves rippling through an auto industry struggling comes to terms with this upstart from Silicon Valley. Tesla may also change how automakers look at car security after hearing this latest report as well.

It turns out that the Tesla Model S is America’s least-stolen car, reports The Irish Times, which just released their annual “America’s Most Stolen Car” report, and while the Honda Accord again took the most dubious crown, the Tesla Model S was the least-stolen vehicle per-thousand produced. That’s a pretty important title when you think about it.

Nearly 54,000 Honda Accords were stolen last year, though that isn’t exactly a fair comparison since that’s more than the total number of Model S sedans. Instead, by looking at the number of cars stolen per-thousand produced, you can up with a more even-handed look at the numbers. The national average is about 3.5 cars per thousand produced are stolen, and some of the least-stolen conventional cars like the Hyundai Tucson and Acura RDX, came in at just 0.4 car stolen per thousand produced. Impressive right?

Well the Tesla Model S cuts even that number in half, with just 0.15 cars stolen per thousand produced. If we estimate that about 40,000 Model S sedans have been built, that means just 6 Teslas have been stolen in the past year, including a well-publicized showroom theft that resulted in the first Model S fatality.

So why is that? Well for one, there are still relatively few Teslas on the road, and there isn’t much black market demand for parts. Furthermore, the Model S can be remotely shutdown in the event of a theft, and since most of them are constantly connected to the Internet, tracking down the pilfered EV is remarkably easy. The study doesn’t say, but I’d be surprised if any of the electric sedans weren’t recovered.

That doesn’t mean the Model S is invulnerable though, as a team of Chinese hackers recently proved. Tesla is actively recruiting IT defense specialists to help protect the Model S, suggesting that they know the car could be vulnerable given its connected nature, and a new feature through the Tesla app will allow users to start the car from their smartphones. Imagine the sort of havoc a mean-spirited hacker could wreck with that kind of control?

Thankfully, Tesla seems to have a handle on things, and along with being one of the safest cars on the road, it’s also extremely unlikely to be stolen. Just another benefit of driving a Tesla I suppose.



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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • Will Frank

    I love the Teslas, but touting that Teslas are less likely to be stolen, is like touting that Apple doesn’t get viruses. Sure, when Apple was 2% of the market, it didn’t get viruses – because there was little to no return in investment of the time and effort. As Apple has significantly increased it’s market share – in computers and smartphones – it’s now worthwhile. So, too, will the effort to steal a Tesla, if/when they become more common.

    Ever going to top the list? Not likely, but who knows…

    • smartacus

      Yeah right? It’s like why bother? Who’s gonna steal a car that won’t go more than 180 miles?

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  • smartacus

    Won’t steal car that won’t go far?

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