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BMW 5-Series (G30) Forum 2017+ BMW 5 Series (G30) General Discussions Relay Scanning UK

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      08-14-2019, 01:12 AM   #1
Dephead2004
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Relay Scanning UK

Expect it's common knowledge about the relay scanning threat to our (and other) cars. The article in What Car was interesting. Here's the summary:

BMW declined to provide us with a car for our test, so we sourced one elsewhere. Our X3 has a digital smart key with motion sensor technology – part of a Technology Pack that’s standard with Sport trim. BMW told us that the Comfort Access system on the smart key has a “security system that automatically cuts off the signal emitted from the key when it has been stationary for a set amount of time”.
We believe this is two minutes; the key cannot be activated immediately. However, when the motion sensor technology hasn't cut the signal the key's code can still be picked up and we were able to steal the X3 in 60 seconds. When the motion sensor technology is working, this would prevent the car from being stolen.
A spokesman also said all new BMW and Mini keyless entry keys now have motion sensor technology as standard. “Every single case we are aware of where a relay attack method has been used is when the key is left unattended and not in a pocket – hence our approach to the solution.” He added that owners of many older BMW models can pay to have the motion sensor technology retrofitted; the price of this differs between models.


So I thought I would enquire about the digital smart key. Drew a blank with my local dealer and BMW UK but was much helped by another branch of the same dealership by their Genius Jamie.

Firstly, only cars with comfort keyless access are affected. All G30 have keyless start and will therefore be affected if the door is breached.

The cost to replace the two standard keys is £550 plus £95 0.5 hour labour. BMW will subsidise the parts cost by 70%. Total cost I was quoted was therefore £260. I felt this was reasonable for the benefits you gain if you have keyless /comfort entry.

It might also be worth it if your key is damaged or one is lost. This does not upgrade your key's appearance I was told. It's the internals that have been upgraded.

Now I don't have comfort access so not sure if it's worth it for me as my keys are in good nick and not lost. Only benefit would be if the door itself was breached.

Hope this helps if you want a better OEM solution to a Faraday bag/Tin box for £10

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      08-14-2019, 02:20 AM   #2
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Interesting.
Must admit I didn't spec comfort access as I was a little unsure about its security . Not sure why manufacturers moved away from physical keys to start the car .
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      08-14-2019, 02:39 AM   #3
Dephead2004
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Probably because of my experience with our Spacewagon. The key was so worn that after a few years you could remove the key from the ignition and the engine would keep running!

Last edited by Dephead2004; 08-14-2019 at 03:11 AM..
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      08-14-2019, 04:36 AM   #4
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The new motion sensor key was standard from sometime in 2018.

My 2017 now has the motion sensing keys, and it does work - tested it myself numerous times.

I got mine in 2018 when my keys were replaced by insurance company after an attempted theft (ironically, it was an old school style theft where they broke in and took the key from my house - nothing to do with the comfort access).
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      08-14-2019, 06:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobilejo View Post
The new motion sensor key was standard from sometime in 2018.

My 2017 now has the motion sensing keys, and it does work - tested it myself numerous times.

I got mine in 2018 when my keys were replaced by insurance company after an attempted theft (ironically, it was an old school style theft where they broke in and took the key from my house - nothing to do with the comfort access).
Bonus info. Thanks. The new key is showing in realoem from 11/18. I just felt it was a reasonable upgrade that folks should know about as there seems very little publicity about the replacement and the offer
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      08-14-2019, 06:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dephead2004 View Post
Bonus info. Thanks. The new key is showing in realoem from 11/18. I just felt it was a reasonable upgrade that folks should know about as there seems very little publicity about the replacement and the offer
You're right - they kept it very quiet (they probably didn't want to shout about the keyless theft issue existing in the first place).

No one officially told me my keys had this feature, I read about it on a forum and tested them.
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      08-14-2019, 08:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobilejo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dephead2004 View Post
Bonus info. Thanks. The new key is showing in realoem from 11/18. I just felt it was a reasonable upgrade that folks should know about as there seems very little publicity about the replacement and the offer
You're right - they kept it very quiet (they probably didn't want to shout about the keyless theft issue existing in the first place).

No one officially told me my keys had this feature, I read about it on a forum and tested them.
My guess is no one is talking about it because the motion sensing key is more of a workaround as opposed to a fix to prevent. There's clearly situations where the thief can get lucky during the 2 minutes before the key sleeps.
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      08-14-2019, 11:52 AM   #8
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The simple faraday pouch fix is much cheaper and provides an instant signal block with no window of opportunity.
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      08-14-2019, 02:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AP View Post
Interesting.
Must admit I didn't spec comfort access as I was a little unsure about its security . Not sure why manufacturers moved away from physical keys to start the car .
I've wondered the same, but my guess is to simplify things overall. Since they are moving more and more of the vehicle to an electronic base and removing analog functionality. This enables them to add features like Remote Start and whatnot as well.
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      08-14-2019, 05:53 PM   #10
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Wonder what the insurers think of this? I hope they aren't penalising those of us who have pre 2018 comfort access keys :
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