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Security alert on Aussie cars

Low score: The Ford Falcon could muster only 57.5 points out of 120 in the RACV/NRMA theft survey.

Australian cars leave a lot to be desired when it comes to theft protection

Ford logo30 Nov 2004

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE

MAINSTREAM Australian-made cars are still lagging behind many imported vehicles in terms of security, according to the latest RACV/NRMA theft survey.

The survey, which rated almost 200 vehicles on their resistance to theft and rebirthing (where vehicle identities are changed for sale to unsuspecting customers), has the Ford Falcon and Toyota Avalon managing just 57.5 points out of 120.

The Holden Commodore did marginally better with 61 points, while the Mitsubishi Magna was best of the locally built mainstream cars with 63.5.

Perhaps not surprisingly, European cars such as the Audi A6 (117) and Porsche Cayenne (111) were at the top of the pile. However, popular Japanese cars from Subaru, Mazda and others all scored higher than the Aussie-built vehicles.

Those with vehicle identification marking (such as microdots), including models from Holden Special Vehicles, scored particularly well.

"New Australian-built cars have improved their defences against theft with compulsory engine immobilisers, but are still well behind on vehicle identification technology," said RACV chief engineer vehicles, Michael Case.

Executive director of the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, Ray Carroll, said: "All car manufacturers need to consider using latest anti-theft technology including microdots, self-voiding compliance labels and replacing the aluminium plates that are commonly used to ensure compliance labels are tamper-proof and cannot be easily reproduced by thieves".

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