The suit contends that car manufacturers long have known about the risks posed by this hazard. It also states that the automakers failed to ensure the basic electronic security of their vehicles.
Stanley explained, “Toyota, Ford and GM have deliberately hidden the dangers associated with car computer systems, misleading consumers.”
If hackers break into the center controller the CAN Bus, it is possible to take control of car functions such as braking, steering and acceleration. Such a demonstration was given on “60 Minutes“, earlier this year.
A 2013 study by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) found researchers could make vehicles “suddenly accelerate, turn, [and] kill the brakes.” DARPA reported the defect represents a “real threat to the physical well being of drivers and passengers.” Before releasing its study, DARPA shared its finding with car manufacturers to address the vulnerabilities, but they did nothing.
The lawsuit alleges Toyota, Ford and GM concealed or suppressed material facts concerning the safety, quality and functionality of vehicles equipped with these systems. It charges the companies with fraud, false advertising and violation of consumer protections statutes.
As a result of Defendants’ unfair, deceptive, and/or fraudulent business practices, and their failure to disclose the highly material fact that their vehicles were susceptible to hacking and neither secure nor safe, owners and/or lessees of Defendants’ CAN bus-equipped vehicles have suffered losses in money and/or property.
Toyota owner and named plaintiff Helene Cahen said, “It’s scary to know you could be driving down the highway and a hacker could seize control of your car. Toyota never mentions this risk when extolling its technology to sell you the car.”
Stanley continued, “We shouldn’t need to wait for a hacker or terrorist to prove exactly…Ford and GM should be required to recall cars with these dangerous electronic systems.”
Stanley is a founder of the Stanley Law Group, which focuses on complex litigation. He previously served as president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
So far, there have been few hack demonstrated without direct hardwired contact with CAN bus.
Mission Secure Inc.(MSi) and Perrone Robotics Inc.(PRI) announced that track testing proves that their solution can stop cyber attacks in cars through a key fob hack.
Argus Cbyer Security claims that it could have stopped the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) car-takeover demonstration on 60 Minutes that showed Lesley Stahl unable to control a masked car that looked a lot like a Chevy Impala.