JLR increases UK client care team to help accelerate security update roll-out for older vehicles

  • Aim of the software update is to bring older JLR models up to today’s security levels
  • JLR increases security update spend to £15m from £10m
  • Company will continue to develop software security updates for vehicles that date back as far as 2016

Time 11:22 am, June 5, 2024

Jaguar Land Rover is ramping up the roll-out of security software updates for Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar models that date back as far as 2018 in a bid to combat the recent plague of thefts.

According to JLR, it has increased its client care team by 26 per cent in a bid to speed up the roll-out of security updates that ‘remove the risk’ of thieves starting a vehicle through its Body Control Module – often referred to as ‘keyless theft’.

The aim of the software update is to bring older JLR models up to today’s security levels, with more than 160,000 vehicles already receiving the update. The initiative, which JLR originally set aside £10m to complete, has now seen its budget increased to £15m in a bid to tackle the continual threat of organised crime.

Both Range Rover and Range Rover Sport remain an attractive target for thieves and criminal gangs, with Jaguar Land Rover boss Adrian Mardell admitting earlier this year that the company is partly funding ‘police security’ at ports in an attempt to tackle the theft issue plaguing the brand.

Owners of JLR vehicles have found their insurance premiums have rocketed due to the rise in criminal activity, with some insurance firms quoting premiums in the tens of thousands of pounds.

To combat this, JLR recently announced that it is to give customers £150 a month for up to three years towards insuring new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models as part of an ongoing battle to tackle exorbitant premiums.

As a result, the issue has adversely affected the value of used Jaguar Land Rover models, with prices of older models tumbling last year.

Partly caused by a rise in thefts, but also blighted by a parts shortage, used car trade valuations experts Cap HPI revealed that out of the top 25 largest falling used car models in 2023, eight of them were Jaguar Land Rover models.

Earlier this year, Jaguar Land Rover boss Adrian Mardell stated that evidence from the police showed that the number of Range Rovers stolen had fallen 27% in recent months.

Despite this, the company has seen fit to invest more money into updating the security of older models, with a 26% increase in its team of dedicated client care specialists to ensure the roll-out hits as many vehicles as possible. JLR didn’t go into details about the size of its client care team.

Patrick McGillycuddy, Managing Director JLR UK, said: ‘We understand that being a victim of car crime is deeply distressing so we are working hard to mitigate this risk for our clients wherever we can. Our security update initiative directly and positively combats known methods of thefts used in the UK today.

‘We urge owners of models from 2018 and later to contact their preferred retailer for a security consultation as soon as possible, to understand their specific options, at their earliest opportunity,’ McGillycuddy added.

Updating the vehicle at a JLR retailer takes no longer than an hour to complete, meaning owners can receive the security enhancements while they wait. Alternatively, JLR also offers a mobile roadside assistance team that can tackle the update from a location of the owner’s choosing.

Jaguar Land Rover says the development of Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) key technology in 2018 prevented thieves from using a vehicle relay signal to remotely unlock and then drive a vehicle away.

As a result, JLR says there are no recorded thefts in the UK of JLR vehicles fitted with UWB technology using the relay method. The company has also provided Faraday Pouches, which block any signals transmitted by a key, to owners of vehicles not fitted with UWB technology.

That said, it hasn’t stopped enterprising criminals from starting JLR models through its Body Control Module – something this security update hopes to fix. According to the marque, it will continue to develop software security updates for vehicles that date back as far as 2016.

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