According to recent media reports the South African Police Service arrested members of a vehicle theft syndicate and found them to be in possession of a so-called “Toyota master key” and “system modulator override”.
The reports further mention possible links between the syndicate and employees of Toyota SA Motors – a speculative link which would be necessary for the syndicate to have gained access to the “master keys and override system”.
Toyota SA Motors would hereby like to clarify certain misconceptions on vehicle security and vehicle theft:
- No overall master key exist that would give Toyota, a vehicle owner or any other party access to any Toyota vehicle. Each vehicle is issued with its own master key and any replacement key would require the vehicle’s original master key to enable duplication;
- In cases where a vehicle’s original key is not available, Toyota SA Motors requires a new Electronic Computer Unit (ECU) and master key set for the specific vehicle. This is ordered from Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan and is linked to the vehicle’s Vehicle Identity Number (VIN);
- Toyota does not manufacture or possess a so-called “system modulator override” system.
- The company has been made aware of illegal override systems for all vehicles, not only Toyota vehicles. Toyota has changed its vehicle coding and immobiliser system to block any attempt at systems override.
- Toyota will continue to improve its security systems as it is made aware of any attempts at forced entry by criminal elements.
Toyota SA Motors hereby commends the South African Police Service on their swift action and wish them further success in investigating this vehicle theft ring.