Immobilisers are effective

RECENT media reports showing a car immobiliser being easily defeated are misleading, says Marlows group general manager Paul Wagner.

Mr Wagner said media reports, especially brief television news and current affairs items did not always give the full story.

He said one TV segment started with an unlocked bonnet, an older vehicle and someone who had experience and knowledge, having previously taken time to work out how to defeat the device.

“Under these circumstances, to present the feat as having been accomplished in 20 seconds was misleading,” Mr Wagner said.

“In practice, a thief would have to break into the car, pop the bonnet, work out how to bypass the immobiliser — assuming he could and the car was an older model — smash the steering lock and then drive away.

“This was not made clear in the TV report.”

Mr Wagner said the community had reaped substantial benefits from the success of the immobiliser program.

“Fewer car thefts means fewer ram-raids, police chases and high-speed joy rides, all of which expose the community to the risk of death, injury and damage.

“It could also, in time, reduce insurance premiums.”

Already 85,000 vehicles have been fitted with immobilisers under the WA Government’s rebate scheme introduced in 1997.

Since then, not one vehicle fitted with a government approved immobiliser has been stolen and driven away as a result of the immobiliser being bypassed.

In 1998 about 17,000 cars were stolen in WA — more than 14,600 in the metropolitan area.

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