In August, we wrote about IIHS findings concerning the relative ease with which certain criminals could take your dubs, namely, your Cadillac Escalade. The report named the Escalade the most stolen vehicle per 1000 units, and the highest cost to repair stolen and damaged parts.
This was unacceptable, we wrote, questioning the veracity of Cadillac for not making a secure vehicle, then requiring the very basic theft-deterrent features as an option on what is, essentially, a $60,000+ Chevrolet Tahoe.
As a result of the IIHS findings, Cadillac tweaked a few safety components, calling the Escalade “well protected.” Now, four months later, the 2012 Escalade finally receives what the luxury brand says will be “a significant step in helping to reduce vehicle thefts.”
The 2012 security enhancements:
- PASS Key 3+, a sophisticated encryption system for the key, key cylinder and ignition system (Deters: Drive-away thefts)
- A more-robust steering column-lock system that makes it nearly impossible to maneuver the Escalade onto a flatbed. (Deters: “push-away” thefts)
- An available inclination sensor that sets off an alarm when the system senses an unwarranted change of the angle of the vehicle, such as would occur with towing, flat-bedding or lifting the vehicle. (Deters: towing, push-away, and wheel thefts)
- An available shock sensor intended to reduce content theft and push-away theft by sounding the alarm when the vehicle is “shocked,” such as by breaking window glass. (Deters: Property theft)
- An available new wheel lock system to help prevent the theft of Escalade’s wheels and tires.
“The goal is to make the Escalade a very difficult target for thieves without any added inconvenience for customers,” said Bill Biondo, General Motors’ global leader for vehicle theft prevention. “The new systems work in the background and few people realize they are there, but they are strong added protections.”
Automotive.com’s take: If you didn’t notice, three of the five bullets above still show one important word: available. This means that consumers will still have to shell out extra dollars on top of their rebadged Chevy for should-be-standard theft-deterrent options. Smooth move, Cadillac.