In a bid to reduce the chances of vehicle re-birthing Hyundai has joined Audi, Nissan and Renault by introducing self-voiding vehicle identification labels. The labels are cheap to produce and will be rendered useless if removed from the car. The new labelling will replace the familiar aluminium compliance plates found on most other cars sold in Australia. The older style compliance plates are easily reused in a re-birthing industry that costs Australians around $250 million every year.
“Improved vehicle identification is a major focus of the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council” said NRMA Insurance Head of Research Robert McDonald, “vehicle identification technology such as self-voiding labels, cost less than $2 and are one of the best defences against professional car theft.”
Hyundai’s announcement follows the release yesterday of NRMA Insurance’s annual Vehicle Theft Ratings, which measure the ability of a car to resist being broken into, stolen and re-birthed. Hyundai’s Sonata was one of the top three performers in the medium car category, whilst the Grandeur scored the highest security rating in the large car category. Although the Vehicle Theft Ratings revealed that Subaru, BMW, Audi and Porsche were the standout manufacturers in 2008, with all of their vehicles performing well.
Michael Case, RACV Chief Engineer – Vehicles, said it was pleasing that a manufacturer of affordable vehicles such as Hyundai had introduced this new technology across its entire range.
“We’d like to see local manufacturers follow suit and play their part in tackling the issue of professional car theft in Australia.
“We urge consumers to consider security attributes when purchasing a vehicle in addition to other considerations such as styling, fuel consumption and safety levels.
“Improved vehicle identification is a major focus of the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council as the majority of manufacturers still use old aluminium compliance plates that can be simply removed making it easy for professional thieves to re-birth cars.”
The full results can be downloaded from the RACV website.