Ford, Toyota and General Motors could be taken to court over hackable cars

Manufacturers in Europe will need to take note to avoid legal issues over security flaws

A renowned lawyer is taking Toyota, Ford and General Motors to court over alleged security flaws that will put drivers in danger.

Attorney Marc Stanley, representing three of the carmaker's customers in San Francisco, claims the manufacturers turned a blind eye to security vulnerabilities, leaving "cars to be hacked and control wrested away from the driver", the Dallas Morning News reported.

The lawsuit stated: "Defendants failed consumers in all of these areas when they sold or leased vehicles that are susceptible to computer hacking and are therefore unsafe. Because defendants failed to ensure the basic electronic security of their vehicles, anyone can hack into them, take control of the basic functions of the vehicle, and thereby endanger the safety of the driver and others."

Car security

Analysts have previously warned of the dangers of car manufacturers who do not have control of their entire supply chain, and encouraged them to consider security in every aspect of a car.

BMW recently came under fire for failing to encrypt its connected car network, ConnectedDrive.

The vulnerability had been known by the firm for some time, it was alleged, however it did not patch the flaw until a German automobile association publicly revealed how hackers could unlock cars through their smartphones in a simple 'man in the middle attack'.

Some 2.2 million BMW cars were connected to the BMW platform that was affected by the vulnerability, but the carmaker could not specify how many of those cars were on UK roads at the time.

As cars become increasingly connected and, eventually, without a driver behind the wheel, carmakers will need to ensure their data security is top priority maintain a sparkling reputation.

Volvo's CIO recently told ComputerworldUK that data security, as well as data privacy, had become as important as traditional car security and safety measures since the digitalisation of the car in recent years.

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