A new vehicle security rating scheme launched in the UK has highlighted the relay-theft risk motorists currently face, even if they buy the latest cars on the market.

Six of the 11 models reviewed by security experts Thatcham Research were labelled ‘poor’ due to the lack of built-in measures to prevent gangs from hacking the keyless systems and stealing them remotely.

However, in light of the recent spate of gang-operated relay thefts, the scheme has been slammed by the car industry body for ‘signposting vulnerable models’ to criminals and confusing the issue of relay thefts for consumers.

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How Thatcham tests security

Thatcham Research technicians conduct a series of tests, ranging from timed ‘brute-force’ attacks on locks and access points, to tests that identify digital vulnerabilities, namely whether the keyless entry/start system is susceptible to the Relay Attack or the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) Port allows blank keys to be coded.

Cars that fail the keyless entry/start and OBD tests move down a category per failure. The rating applies whether the keyless entry/start system is optional or standard-fit.

The categories are: Superior, Good, Basic, Poor and Unacceptable.

Here are the superior cars.

Audi e-tron: Superior

Jaguar XE: Superior

Land Rover Evoque: Superior

Mercedes B-Class: Superior

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Then here are the vulnerable ones.

Ford Mondeo: Poor

Hyundai Nexo: Poor

Kia ProCeed: Poor

Lexus UX: Poor

Porsche Macan: Poor

Toyota Corolla Hybrid: Poor

Suzuki Jimny**: Unacceptable

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