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VW Has Spent Two Years Trying to Hide a Big Security Flaw

Got a VW, Fiat, Audi, Ferrari, Porsche or Maserati? Then you might want to check the model.
An employee inspects a Volkswagen automobile at a Volkswagen AG showroom in Berlin, Germany.

An employee inspects a Volkswagen automobile at a Volkswagen AG showroom in Berlin, Germany.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Thousands of cars from a host of manufacturers have spent years at risk of electronic car-hacking, according to expert research that Volkswagen has spent two years trying to suppress in the courts.

“Keyless” car theft, which sees hackers target vulnerabilities in electronic locks and immobilizers, now accounts for 42 percent of stolen vehicles in London. BMWs and Range Rovers are particularly at-risk, police say, and can be in the hands of a technically minded criminal within 60 seconds.