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Hi guys, I am sad to say my wifes 2011 528i has been stolen. Any help or assistance would be greatly appreciated. The car was taken from her job. 2 thieves drove up to the car. The alarm sounded off, two of her co-workers went outside to investigate and observed the get away car
and her car drive off from the lot. Here are the issues.
1- they were good and had the help of the chinese made blank keyfobs. They connected to the OBD2 port and thru the maintenance port managed to have the on board computer issue new codes which they then programmed a new code into the blank keyfob and started the car and drove off. All in 2 minutes.
We were unaware that this could happen until i googled the internet. I called bmw assist and was told they could not track the car even when the police called at their instruction. It seems bmw assist uses your cellphone carrier to track your own car. We never had an account. BMW assist says they dont support 2013 and later models anymore because most of the cellphone companies have since switched from 2g to 4g. (NO GPS!!!!)
This has been reported by news agencies about the security breach thru this port inside the car. We know this is how they did it because they had to enter without a code which is why the alarm went off.
I called corporate in NJ this morning. They say there is no issue or faulty engineering.
They have since closed this down in all models after sept 2011. They did not inform or acknowledge this to existing owners to have this either fixed or add additional layers of protection.
If i was aware that this could happen i would have orderes a seperate gps system. Then added a fuel cutoff switch, Ignition kill switch, and transmission control power interrupt, and a second security system. Crazy i know but necessary.
It would have bought more time for the thieves to beat all three systems. Possibly they may have moved on. This all occurred at 9:30 in the morning.
I am truly sad about this for my wife who waited so long for a used model. It was her mother's day present.
Does anyone out there know how i can persuade BMW to help us out just a little to get her another used one in similiar shape. No handouts just a little assistance as we traded her car and cash.
I am posting this in the event that this is passed along to any other BMW owners who may also be at risk. Please be aware folks that these earlier models can be stolen.I have read plenty of stories about owners who do have both their keyfobs and they no longer have their cars.
PLEASE PLEASE pass this along. For such a highly technical and supposed secure car it opened my eyes as to how easily these thieves bypassed that technology. There is no doubt that the company is aware.I f i can google it they can as well.
 

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So sorry!!! Thank you for sharing!!
 

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How did they get to the OBD port? Break a window or were they able to connect remotely from outside the car?

For our USA readers, I found this comment in a 2012 article on extremetech.com:

This is the response from BMW of North America spokesman Dave Buchko, who says BMW in the US stores key blanks in a handful of secure locations in the US and they***8217;re sent to dealers, one at a time, when a customer needs a replacement. He adds, ***8220;This does not seem to be an issue in the US. The key, pardon the pun, to these thefts is access to a blank key or some sort of facsimile. BMW NA is the only source for replacement keys and we have a system in place that can provide a new key within 24 hours. We***8217;re checking but we do not know of any difference in the data being accessed through the OBD port in the UK versus here.***8221;

If you can get BMW key blanks in Europe, it can't be that hard to get them to North America.
 

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Hi guys, I am sad to say my wifes 2011 528i has been stolen. Any help or assistance would be greatly appreciated. The car was taken from her job. 2 thieves drove up to the car. The alarm sounded off, two of her co-workers went outside to investigate and observed the get away car
and her car drive off from the lot. Here are the issues.
1- they were good and had the help of the chinese made blank keyfobs. They connected to the OBD2 port and thru the maintenance port managed to have the on board computer issue new codes which they then programmed a new code into the blank keyfob and started the car and drove off. All in 2 minutes.
We were unaware that this could happen until i googled the internet. I called bmw assist and was told they could not track the car even when the police called at their instruction. It seems bmw assist uses your cellphone carrier to track your own car. We never had an account. BMW assist says they dont support 2013 and later models anymore because most of the cellphone companies have since switched from 2g to 4g. (NO GPS!!!!)
This has been reported by news agencies about the security breach thru this port inside the car. We know this is how they did it because they had to enter without a code which is why the alarm went off.
I called corporate in NJ this morning. They say there is no issue or faulty engineering.
They have since closed this down in all models after sept 2011. They did not inform or acknowledge this to existing owners to have this either fixed or add additional layers of protection.
If i was aware that this could happen i would have orderes a seperate gps system. Then added a fuel cutoff switch, Ignition kill switch, and transmission control power interrupt, and a second security system. Crazy i know but necessary.
It would have bought more time for the thieves to beat all three systems. Possibly they may have moved on. This all occurred at 9:30 in the morning.
I am truly sad about this for my wife who waited so long for a used model. It was her mother's day present.
Does anyone out there know how i can persuade BMW to help us out just a little to get her another used one in similiar shape. No handouts just a little assistance as we traded her car and cash.
I am posting this in the event that this is passed along to any other BMW owners who may also be at risk. Please be aware folks that these earlier models can be stolen.I have read plenty of stories about owners who do have both their keyfobs and they no longer have their cars.
PLEASE PLEASE pass this along. For such a highly technical and supposed secure car it opened my eyes as to how easily these thieves bypassed that technology. There is no doubt that the company is aware.I f i can google it they can as well.
I am sorry for the pain of the theft of your car. With that being said, you should have insurance so while this is extremely annoying and inconventient, it should not be the end of the world.

Also, thats a LOT of detail you have there about exactly how the theft went down. Were you able to see all this on a camera somewhere?
 

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Sorry for your loss.

I heard the same thing with the older Toyota Prius.
 

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That sucks. Personally if it ever happens to me I wouldn't want it back - who knows what they'll do to it. Why we pay insurance....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to all who responded.

In this case there were 2 people who saw them gain entry.


They could not tell if by door or by glass.
They could not enter with a programmed keyfob because if they could the alarm would never have sounded.

This is why the alarm went off.

It is after they got in that they gained access to the OBD2 port. Once they got to the OBD port they were able to force the computer to generate access codes to program the blank. Lights and horn still sounding off. The girls were too scared to approach them They ran back to inform my wife and saw them drive away. Once the key was programmed the system accepted it and they started the car and drove off. There is a kit available thru chinese sources and some european sources to allow programming blank keys.
All available over the internet.

I do have insurance. The adjuster has yet to call with a settlement offer as i have to wait 7 days to see if they can recover the car.


In the event that they don't and by the way they took the car I would seriously doubt that they would be stupid enough and slip up be caught driving it.

If these boneheads are smart enough to know how to do this. And it has been reported on the news and internet my question is why did BMW not notify to all registered BMW owners this serious potential risk of theft to allow us enough time to add layered security just in case?
Does BMW not read or listen to the news when it is being reported that this is problem?

To compound matters even further a mobile based vehicle recovery location system which relies on cell phone carriers ability to track the vehicle is stupid.


BMW assist does not support non 4g vehicles prior to 2013.
 

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Thanks to all who responded.

In this case there were 2 people who saw them gain entry.

They could not tell if by door or by glass.
They could not enter with a programmed keyfob because if they could the alarm would never have sounded.

This is why the alarm went off.

It is after they got in that they gained access to the OBD2 port. Once they got to the OBD port they were able to force the computer to generate access codes to program the blank. Lights and horn still sounding off. The girls were too scared to approach them They ran back to inform my wife and saw them drive away. Once the key was programmed the system accepted it and they started the car and drove off. There is a kit available thru chinese sources and some european sources to allow programming blank keys.
All available over the internet.

I do have insurance. The adjuster has yet to call with a settlement offer as i have to wait 7 days to see if they can recover the car.

In the event that they don't and by the way they took the car I would seriously doubt that they would be stupid enough and slip up be caught driving it.

If these boneheads are smart enough to know how to do this. And it has been reported on the news and internet my question is why did BMW not notify to all registered BMW owners this serious potential risk of theft to allow us enough time to add layered security just in case?
Does BMW not read or listen to the news when it is being reported that this is problem?

To compound matters even further a mobile based vehicle recovery location system which relies on cell phone carriers ability to track the vehicle is stupid.

BMW assist does not support non 4g vehicles prior to 2013.
I completely realize you are upset, but neither BMW nor car manufacturers can cover all bases in something like this. Rather than being mad at BMW for not somehow making the car impossible to steal, we all need to realize that, if someone wants to steal something, they ARE GOING TO STEAL IT and there is nothing we can do but hope we dont get hurt in the process.

I am glad your girls did not try to approach them etc. It could have ended up as something worse than 'just a car" being stolen.

I am NOT trying to make light of your plight.. I understand your anger I really do, I just think its directed in the wrong place, because no matter what precautions BMW takes, there WILL be theft of their cars, and there is NOTHING they can do to prevent all theft.
 

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Sorry about the car. Pretty much everything in modern-day America has a potential risk of theft. I was talking to a neighbor earlier today, and apparently someone had stolen some of the decorative rocks in his front yard. Maybe your insurance company will give you more than the car was worth. The worst case scenario is that the cops recover the car and you have to keep it.
 

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I don't know what happened in the states but this side of the pond there was a recall around 2012 or 2013 for a software patch to be added to vehicles at risk due the OBD vulnerability problem. If your wife's 528 came under the recall it would've been the original owner that was advised!
 

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I think BMW notified all paid subscribers of the non-support for cars with 2G. I'm sure it was published somewhere too. Hopefully your insurance gives you a fair payout!
 

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So much detailed info on how it all went down.
Googling the internet would certainly provide some info on vulnerabilities,
but wouldn't tell you how thieves stole the car.
Insurance to the rescue. Cars get stolen every day.
Sorry for your loss. :cry:
 

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Why are you p*seed at BMW? You should be ripsh*t at the co-workers who sat there watching instead of ( 1.) Calling 911 with the perps license plate,then (2.) Using their own car to park yours in so they couldn't drive it away after they started it.

I know it was your wife's dream car, but a 2011 528 (the only year BMW put a NA six in the F10) is an exceedingly strange car to steal. It's much slower than the 2012 and later 528's and since so few of them were sold here, I doubt it has a lot of value for spare parts. Frankly, this sounds more like a repo than a theft.

You should Google David Beckham X5 Theft. Happened to him twice.
 

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Using their own car to park yours in so they couldn't drive it away after they started it.
Bearing I mind how trigger happy the criminal fraternity appear to be, do you really think putting themselves in the line of fire is a sensible idea? Furthermore, the thieves had just started a big heavy car that didn't belong to them, so they'd be just as likely to use it as a battering ram simply to escape. I don't blame onlookers for keeping well out of the way.
 

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Consider yourself lucky that the car was not taken while your wife was in it.

If there's a will, there's a way. I learned this when my 1965 mustang was clipped and driven away in a tow truck, from the front of my house, all in 3 minutes.

Take the insurance money and use it as a down payment and move on.

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk
 

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If cars were impossible to steal, we wouldn't need insurance. No question modern cars are harder to steal, but harder does not mean impossible. I agree that your coworkers should have called 911. As for the GPS, there is still GPS in the car, just not emergency calling and it was not BMW's decision to shut down 2G cell towers. The problem created cut across all carmakers and I am not aware that any are doing retrofits. I got a similar cutoff notice for an 09 Mercedes as well as my 08 E61. Take the insurance check and buy a new car. I am sure that in a few months your wife will be very happy with it whether or not it is another BMW.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you guys for all of your input. I guess just talking about this and time passed will help me get over this. I am doing all the driving now. She is still so very petrified about the whole ordeal. I just really wanted to do the right thing and WARN anyone else who might benefit from my experience. Please folks add more layers of security.
I am in the process of arming to the teeth all the vehicles in our family. I am going to use a third party GPS system with real time location that we can have on any smart device or laptop. 2 security systems each with their own cutoff systems. 1 system that sends alerts if the car is disturbed all in addition to factory systems.
The reason i have frustration with BMW is the GPS thing and not being able to assist to locate the car. The reason they could not was the 2g mobile data. thing.
Right now GM on star is the better choice but you must have a GM product.
It is all about buying time and making it frustrating for the thieves to beat 3 systems and GPS location.

Fo
 

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Thank you guys for all of your input. I guess just talking about this and time passed will help me get over this. I am doing all the driving now. She is still so very petrified about the whole ordeal. I just really wanted to do the right thing and WARN anyone else who might benefit from my experience. Please folks add more layers of security.
I am in the process of arming to the teeth all the vehicles in our family. I am going to use a third party GPS system with real time location that we can have on any smart device or laptop. 2 security systems each with their own cutoff systems. 1 system that sends alerts if the car is disturbed all in addition to factory systems.
The reason i have frustration with BMW is the GPS thing and not being able to assist to locate the car. The reason they could not was the 2g mobile data. thing.
Right now GM on star is the better choice but you must have a GM product.
It is all about buying time and making it frustrating for the thieves to beat 3 systems and GPS location.

Fo
Why go through all the trouble of various securities. Just get an insurance. My wife does not even lock her Range Rover.
 

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Why go through all the trouble of various securities. Just get an insurance. My wife does not even lock her Range Rover.
Ok, all the responders talking about an insurance replacement. Um, even with "replacement" coverage, those usually only cover new cars, never owned by someone else, event occurring within the first year of ownership, and less than 15000 miles on the car. As with a "total" accident, the insurance company will not reimburse the "full" value of the car. They will only pay book. The OP will be out of luck as far as receiving a check for the true full value of the car. He'll have to layout more cash to buy a similar vehicle. And, depending on his loan situation, he may even owe a balance on the current loan. Good luck to the OP, I hope you reach some fair settlement and resolution.
 

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I am in the process of arming to the teeth all the vehicles in our family.
Fo
Armed to the teeth? That implies (at the least) a Glock. But that's only effective if your wife is carrying. No help at all if it's left inside the vehicle.

Pay for LoJack if that's what it takes to make your wife comfortable. But as painful as it is to admit, at the end of the day, ITS JUST A CAR. If your wife works in a neighborhood where a 5 year old mid-range BMW tempts car thieves, my advice would be to either 1.) Encourage her to find a new job in a safer neighborhood, or 2.) Get her a car with a whole lot less appeal, like a Buick or a Subaru.
 
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