The KiaSafe has been developed to stop thieves using relay attacks, which pick up the frequency from keyless entry systems and use it to gain access to the car in question without having the key.
The Korean car giant says its KiaSafe case works in a similar fashion to a Faraday cage – an enclosure which blocks electromagnetic fields – by placing a layer of metal around key fobs and blocking the devices used by thieves to carry out such attacks. The case has gone on sale for £9.99.
Kia said it is also developing systems which could be used in future keyless entry devices to make them more secure.
Kia Motors UK customer experience manager David Hart said:
“Whilst our current keyless entry systems do not have UWB (Ultra-wideband) or ‘sleep’ buttons, our engineers are developing additional levels of protection for future vehicles and these will be applied as soon as is feasible given production schedules and new model introductions.
“We encourage owners to adopt protection behaviours as advised by the police – such as not leaving keyless entry fobs in the front door lock of their home or close to windows – and to use the KiaSafe to ensure their key fobs are rendered safe from hacking.”
Last month, new research suggested several keyless entry systems on new cars were vulnerable to thieves. Thatcham Research said that of seven cars it tested, just three were given a superior rating, which is earned by having a system to protect against relay attacks.
It called on manufacturers to create more secure keyless entry systems to help cut down thefts.
According to the Association of British Insurers, the cost of theft payouts for the first three months of this year was £108 million – up 22% on the same period last year and twice what it was four years ago.