Cadillac Escalade – Gone in 14 Seconds? (w/video)

Fourteen seconds.  That’s about the time it takes to unlock, get into, and start my car.  For car thieves, that’s how long it takes to steal a late-model GM SUV – including the Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban – says a report from Detroit’s WXYZ, an ABC affiliate.  The reason the vehicles are so easy to steal?  They’re missing safety and theft deterrent features found on almost all cars these days.  Continue past the jump for a more in-depth explanation and WXYZ’s own video.

2011 Cadillac Escalade

If you get into your car and try to shift from Park to Neutral, chances are you won’t be able to, unless you’ve turned the car on.  Apparently, in late-model GM SUVs, the shift lock mechanism, which normally stops the shift from Park to Reverse, Neutral or Drive, is easy to beat, literally.  It’s not strong enough to withstand the force from someone determined to get it out of Park.  Also, try to turn the wheel, and I bet it won’t go very far before locking.  That’s another safety feature which works as a theft deterrent, because you can’t push a vehicle except in the direction the steering wheel was left in.  After all that, won’t the SUV’s built-in alarm system go off?  No, it won’t.  And the side window glass is easy to break as well, allowing easy entry.

2011 Chevrolet Tahoe

What does this have to do with stealing an SUV?  Don’t you have to drive it away from the scene of the crime?  Not so.  Once the gear shift lever is in Neutral, without the steering wheel lock, you can use another vehicle to push the stolen SUV to wherever you want.  The report even says it takes thieves around 20 minutes to strip the expensive SUVs of their wheels, trim, navigation systems and other pricey bits.

2011 GMC Yukon XL Denali

So what’s GM doing to fix this?  For 2010 and 2011 models, they beefed up the shift lock, but thieves are still able to break it, but GM says it’s testing a newer, stronger shift lock, to keep parked vehicles in Park.  They’ve also replaced the side window glass on 2010-and-up models to be harder to break.  The third thing they’ve done is re-instate the steering wheel lock, which they removed from their vehicles several years ago when they started using keys with computer chips in them.

Go ahead and watch the video below – it shows an in-depth view into just how easy it is to steal a GM SUV, and has some startling statistics concerning the stolen vehicles.

WXYZ’s Report:

by John Suit

Source: WXYZ via AutoBlog


1 Response to “Cadillac Escalade – Gone in 14 Seconds? (w/video)”

  • What the hell! Are they going to recall all the old cars to replace the locks, fat chance on that, GMC & their dealers need to wake up.

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