You might remember our article a few weeks ago about the constant string of theft of HEMI-powered Dodge Charger, Challenger, Durango, Ram 1500, or Jeep® Grand Cherokee models. So many thefts that the Michigan State Police released an internal document going into details about the ongoing problem to other police agencies across Michigan and the states surrounding it.
Detroit’s WXYZ 7 Action News, got ahold of an internal document, and while specific details surrounding how the cars were stolen were not released. The documents explain that hundreds of Charger, Challenger, Durango, and Grand Cherokee models have been stolen over the past two years. It also admits that “gathering an accurate count… is nearly impossible.”
WXYZ reached out to Stellantis about the issue, where a spokesperson released the following response…
“Stellantis vehicles meet or exceed all applicable federal safety standards. While such events are rare, they are not exclusive to any make or model of vehicle. Further, Stellantis uses industry-standard technology. Notwithstanding, we urge all motorists to take due care in securing their vehicles.” – Stellantis
The response caused a general concern throughout the modern Mopar community. Well, needless to say, yesterday, the Dodge brand responded with a statement surrounding a new software upgrade to further thwart theft of Charger and Challenger models equipped with 6.4-liter (392 cubic-inch) HEMI® V8 or supercharged 6.2-liter HELLCAT HEMI V8 engines and its high-output variants (sorry R/T owners).
Using the owner’s four-digit security code, the enhanced deterrence software limits the vehicle’s engine speed idle to 675 rpm to help prevent auto theft. The software upgrade can be installed free of charge by any Dodge dealer on 2015 through 2021 model-year Dodge muscle cars. The complimentary enhancement applies second-level vehicle security encryption via Dodge’s Uconnect 4C infotainment system.
“Dodge is launching a new owner-customized ‘double verification’ security system,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer. “When flashed into the computer of affected 2015 or newer Dodge muscle cars, the protective software will limit the engine output to less than 3 horsepower, foiling fast getaways and joyrides.”
During the course of the pursuit, the suspect vehicle attempted to squeeze through two other vehicles traveling on I-94 and caused crash damage. There were no injuries. Two occupants of the suspect vehicle fled on foot after the vehicle became disabled. pic.twitter.com/3wdWpVjouU
— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) September 6, 2020
According to Dodge, at idle, these engines produce approximately 2.8 horsepower and 22 lb.-ft. of torque. As a result, Dodge’s enhanced security measures have a secondary public safety benefit by preventing criminal police evasion and high-speed chases of stolen vehicles like the several we have seen around the Metro Detroit area.
“More than 150 cars are stolen every day in the United States,” added Kuniskis. “For any car owner, it’s terrible, it’s a hassle and it’s a personal violation. Though statistically rare, car thieves have targeted the high-horsepower Dodge muscle cars, and we want the Dodge ‘Brotherhood’ to know we’re taking quick action and covering their backs.”
Stolen Vehicle Recovery: On 10/21 at approximately 9 55 PM, a citizen called MSP 911 regarding his stolen vehicle that had a GPS tracker installed. The owner was able to tell the dispatcher the location of the vehicle and it was relayed to responding units. pic.twitter.com/s8Qtw0Qzdx
— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) October 26, 2020
Double encryption has become common on consumer online accounts and adds a second layer of owner protection against vehicle theft. The four-digit encryption code is designed to discourage key-code-spoofing thieves. Dodge will continue to pursue other enhancements to vehicle-theft deterrence in order to protect owners’ investments.
Owners of the following models should contact their local Dodge dealer to schedule a free Security Mode installation appointment…
- 2015 to 2018 Dodge Charger SRT392
- 2015 to Present Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (including Widebody models)
- 2019 to Present Dodge Charger Scat Pack (including Widebody models)
- 2021 to Present Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody
- 2015 to 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT392
- 2015 to Present Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (including Widebody models)
- 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
- 2019 to Present Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack (including Widebody models)
- 2019 to Present Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320
- 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye (including Widebody models)
- 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock
Dodge expects the new security feature to be available late in the second quarter of 2021. There is no word yet, if an update for Durango or Grand Cherokee models is coming. We will keep you informed if something changes.