Motorists on Monday called into #702Breakfast to complain about thieves allegedly unlocking vehicles with dummy devices.
Some say Ford vehicles were targeted.
The breakfast team contacted Ford but the car maker declined to comment, saying this was an industry-wide issue.
Bongani Bingwa speaks to National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) executive director Mike Mabasa.
Vehicle theft and hijacking continues to be a major challenge in South Africa and we have been engaging quite extensively not only as manufacturers but with other stakeholders, particularly with the police, insurance companies and other key stakeholders so that we can be able to see how we keep up with innovation in our automotive space.— Mike Mabasa, Executive director - Naamsa
Particularly with the police, insurance companies and other key stakeholders so that we can be able to see how we keep up with innovation in our automotive space.
He says digitisation is growing and criminals have also become very sophisticated.
There are a lot of scams in the market and the one that callers are complaining about is one of many other initiatives by criminals that we are aware of as the association. We are interacting with manufacturers to be able to make sure that they are a position to continue to strengthen and update the current systems in the automotive space.— Mike Mabasa, Executive director - Naamsa
Mabasa explains that it is difficult to pinpoint the exact car brands that are targeted as thieves sometimes target specific areas.
This also depends on areas. We know, for example, that in Mamelodi, Tshwane Volkswagen vehicles are targeted, so it is widespread in the market. We also see that it is a syndicate operation in many instances.— Mike Mabasa, Executive director - Naamsa
These are not your ordinary thieves; it is people who are sophisticated, who understand how vehicles operate and many of whom have inside information from some of the data sitting on tracking devices and they know how some of those devices operate.— Mike Mabasa, Executive director - Naamsa
Listen below to the full interview: