Can Your Chevy Camaro Be Hacked? Lawsuit Claims GM Key Fobs Leave Cars Vulnerable

GM key fob theft

Chevy Camaro Key Fobs Vulnerable to Hacking, Lawsuit Claims

Millions of Chevrolet Camaro owners may be cruising around with a hidden danger: their key fobs. A recent class action lawsuit filed by Judy Cho, a resident of Irvine, California, alleges that General Motors (GM) installed key fobs in certain Chevy Camaro models (2010-present) that are susceptible to hacking, allowing thieves to steal vehicles with ease.

Security flaw leaves cars open to easy theft

Cho's lawsuit, filed on April 12th, centers on the key fobs' reliance on a radio-frequency system that can be intercepted by readily available "cloning devices." These devices capture the signal from a genuine key fob and then replay it to trick the car into thinking the real key is present. This allows thieves to unlock and start the car within seconds, all without setting off the alarm.

The complaint highlights a concerning trend: an increase in Camaro thefts linked to this alleged key fob vulnerability. It cites news reports where police departments have warned about this specific method used by criminals.

GM accused of ignoring known risk

The lawsuit criticizes GM for allegedly failing to address the issue despite its awareness of the problem. The filing points out that other automakers, including Jaguar and Range Rover, have developed ultra-wide band protection for their key fobs to guard against “relay car theft.”

Cho's experience exemplifies the alleged security flaw. According to the lawsuit, thieves stole her 2023 Chevy Camaro from her Irvine home on March 14, 2024. The lawsuit alleges the thieves used a device to amplify the signal from her key fob (located inside the house) to a cloning device, which tricked the car into thinking the real key fob was nearby. This allowed them to enter and start the car without triggering the alarm.

Lawsuit seeks compensation and security improvements

The lawsuit seeks class action status, aiming to represent all U.S. residents who own or lease GM vehicles with keyless entry systems potentially susceptible to hacking. The potential outcomes could include:

  • Financial compensation for those who have had their vehicles stolen due to the alleged key fob defect.

  • An order requiring GM to implement security upgrades to address the hacking vulnerability.

What GM owners can do

If you own a GM vehicle with keyless entry, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Be aware of the potential risk: While the lawsuit focuses on Camaros, it's important to be cautious with any GM vehicle that uses a similar key fob system.

  • Consider additional security measures: Talk to your dealership about options like aftermarket security systems or signal-blocking fob pouches.

  • Stay informed: Monitor news and developments related to the lawsuit to see if it expands to include other GM models.

This lawsuit raises serious questions about the security of keyless entry systems and car manufacturers' responsibility to address potential vulnerabilities. As the case progresses, it's important for GM owners to be aware of the situation and take steps to protect their vehicles.

Cho and the proposed class are represented by Abbas Kazerounian and Pamela Prescott of Kazerouni Law Group APC.

The GM key fob class action lawsuit is Cho v. General Motors Company, Case No. 8:24-cv-00819, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.



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