Just a phone call from a Thatcham engineer returning my call of last week. He could not give out much information to me for security reasons (how ironic) but was genuinely as helpful as he could be. In bullet form and no particular order, this is what he said:
- he conld not confirm what criteria a category 1 alarm has to meet. My query here was whether an alarm can be classified as a category 1 alarm if you are able to reach inside the car to the OBD port without the alarm going of.
- he said moving the OBD port was a good option. BMW dealers are willing to carry this out for you...no doubt for a hefty fee. Steering locks are a good viable option in his opinion.
- the UK spec security in cars are amongst the highest in the world and what we get as standard security is actually optional in other regions.
- apart from this OBD issue BMWs have a very high security spec compared to other car manufacturers
- BMW are actually working with the police on the issue (I can't see how this helps though - I'm saying this not him)
- The OBD theft issue is world wide for BMW. (I gathered that this OBD theft is spreading like an epidemic - just my inference from what he was saying though)
- BMW are looking to upgrade their software to avoid these OBD thefts BUT this will NOT be a retrospective fix to our cars. Only new cars will have this software upgrade once it is completed and being rolled out on the production line. Apparently it is quite difficult to retrospectively upgrade a car's security software.
- the reason it is taking so long for the software upgrade is because it is a difficult fix. Not as simple as we believe or would like to believe (but even so we would be hang on and hoping for a fix that when it arrives will not be applied to our cars - this is my point)
Take what you want from the points above as it is his words not mine - apart from where I've stated otherwise.
Last week I sent of an online application to Watchdog but have not had a response just yet. I included links to OBD theft threads on here and another forum plus the youtube link for the white 1M theft. Someone on here posted that the BBC is looking to speak to people who had their BMWs stolen via OBDs so I'm not sure if my online application is where the interest by watchdog has been sparked from.
I will be looking into the online petition tonight. I've been working all hours under the sun for the last couple of days so not had any time.
Can we discuss more about twitter and facebook? Seems a good idea for public humiliation of BMW. The fb page would be an easy link to the youtube vid of the 1M theft. I think someone voiced concern about making the problem known to even more potential thieves but without going public how can we raise the profile of our dilemma? Thoughts and opinions please.