As a LEAF owner, I’m not worried about the recent hack of the remote apps for Nissan LEAFs because of what happened to my LEAF when burglars broke into my garage, recently.
I own a 2013 Nissan LEAF SV with telematics functions known as CARWINGS. CARWINGS connected to my car via an app also called NissanConnect EV that was hacked by Troy Hunt and came into to the news this week. Nissan issued two different statements about the hack and eventually shut off the app completely.
LEAF owners are concerned that because the app was easy to-hack with the LEAF’s VIN number that access could be used for malicious use.
The LEAF’s VIN number can be clearly seen through the windshield.
Malicious use of the app could be turning on the climate control to drain the battery or looking at travel records to discover when the driver was not home.
We live in gas-aholic land and hacking or stealing an economical eco-friendly car is just not cool, exciting or desirable. Current criminal minds are not aware of how expensive green technology can be. There has not been very good marketing about electric vehicles to consumers including common thieves.
On Monday night, robbers broke open a fence opened the people door to the garage.
They didn’t care that I was home in the separate house, while my dog was barking hysterically. Therefore, hacking into my remote LEAF wouldn’t have helped to determine I was not home. The gangsters didn’t stop hearing the warning tones of a howling Yorkie-Poo.
After the crooks broke into the garage, they ignored the LEAF and its expensive charger completely! The EVSE for a LEAF costs $800 new or can be bought used on eBay for around $250 more or less.
They looked around the junk in the garage. They opened a printer cartridge box and rummaged through suit case full of floppy disks with twenty years of writing from my deceased friend. I can imagine them saying
“What the f— are this things in case? They are not worth sh-t.”
What did they take? A 100 ft. extension cord, an old CD/Radio/iPod dock with an ancient iPod Nano in it and a 6 outlet surge protector. To carry their bounty they took black nylon and net dog carry bag which is probably why my dog was so upset.
Steve Jobs should be proud because the tech-jackers thought the most valuable possession in my garage was a ten-year-old iPod with a dead battery!
Although the LEAF is the most eco-friendly car around which with California generated power equates to 100 mpg fuel economy, it is not considered valuable to drivers or crooks or hackers.
The dumb ransackers didn’t know that the battery for the LEAF costs $5,000 to replace!
I’ve written previously that I got the deal of the century of the LEAF at only two years-old with 22,000 miles for $8700 in August which is about 75% off the original price. It costs about 5-cents a mile to charge, a true bargain.
The good news is although some of the technology for the LEAF was hacked (the app only) LEAF require a special key fob to be inside the car to start. The iPod pirates couldn’t move or start the LEAF.
That fact that my LEAF is safe and sound after the break-in illustrates the following:
- Electric automakers haven’t marketed the value of EVs to the public.
- The LEAF is perceived to be not valuable.
- Bandits like the rest of the world are not educated to the true value of EVs.
Maybe, I have Elon Musk and Telsa to thank because when Tesla’s are stolen they can be tracked and located. I’m wondering if the pillagers thought that all electric cars have geolocation for tracking. The LEAF doesn’t but if it the misconception saved my LEAF, I’m happy.
Even thought the LEAF mobile apps were hacked, I can turn on the climate control from the web portal before I walk out to the separate garage at the back of the backyard.
In the meantime, I went to the 99 Cent Store and bought a brass lock to lock the EVSE on to the ceiling and a combination lock to lock the garage door, just in case the stupid criminals learn the true value of electric car.