Dodge has developed three new security measures to help protect owners from having their vehicles stolen by thieves. This includes the Enhanced Security Mode, Key Programming Lockdown and the Intrusion Module.
The Enhanced Security Mode allows the owner to enter a 4-digit code to limit engine output to less than 3 horsepower, and it will be available Monday for the 2021 model year Challengers and Chargers. Key Programming Lockdown prevents thieves from programming new keys and it will be available for 2020 and 2021 models as early as October, but the company is committed to having the system in action by January 2022. After the 2020 and 2021 models are handled, Dodge will roll out the same software for 2015 through 2019 model years, with a new year being added every six weeks. As for the Intrusion Module, it senses glass breakage, movement inside the vehicle and vehicle inclination, sounding the alarm if there are any changes. It will be offered for the 2022 model year, standard in cars with the 392 and SRT® Hellcat HEMI® engines and available in V6 and 5.7-liter-powered models.
For those who don’t want to wait for those updated security measures, Mopar® currently offers the Electronic Vehicle Tracking System, which can be purchased and installed into any modern Dodge vehicle.
Challenger and Charger Theft
If you drive a Dodge Challenger or Charger, you have likely read an article about how the modern Mopar muscle cars have become popular targets of thieves. Some reports have glorified it enough to sound like these are the only vehicles being stolen, when in reality, it is less than two tenths of a percent of all thefts annually. Since 2016, there have been around 6,000 Challengers and Chargers stolen in the United States and while that might sound high, during that same 5-year period, roughly 3.75-million vehicles were stolen across America, as thieves take advantage of vehicles with keyless entry and push-button starting systems.
Although the Challenger and Charger account for less than two tenths of a percent of vehicles stolen over the past 5 years in the United States, the amount of media coverage for models with catchy automotive terms such as “Scat Pack” and “Hellcat” have led to an inordinate number of articles being written about these particular Dodge vehicles being stolen. Naturally, this has created a great deal of anxiety for many modern Mopar muscle car owners, but it has also put pressure on the folks from Dodge to help further protect against vehicle theft.
In seeing the concern from owners, Dodge went to work to devise a series of solutions to help protect your Challenger or Charger from being stolen. We recently had a chance to speak with the Dodge Brand, who shared the details on the new security measures for the modern Mopar muscle cars.
How Thieves Steal a Modern Dodge
The Dodge Challenger, Charger and every other modern vehicle with keyless entry and push-button start relies on a key fob system. The key fob communicates via radio frequency with the vehicle whenever you push a button, but it also emits a constant signal that lets the car know that it is near or inside.
Unfortunately, after smashing a window to gain access to the vehicle and its electrical system, thieves use a gadget to program a new key fob. Once this happens, they can unlock the doors, start the car and drive away as though they have your key.
To battle this issue and other forms of theft, Dodge has come up with a trio of solutions for the Challenger and Charger to help stop car thieves in their tracks.
Enhanced Security Mode
Earlier this year, the Dodge brand announced plans to launch the Enhanced Security Mode, which replaces the standard Valet Mode. When engaged with a 4-digit code in the radio head unit, this software keeps the engine at idle speed, limiting the output to just 2.8 horsepower. With less than 3 horsepower, thieves won’t be able to take off with the car even if they have a key.
This solution will officially become available on Monday, August 16 for the 2021 Challengers and Chargers with either the 392-cubic inch or supercharged SRT Hellcat HEMI engines. The Enhanced Security Mode is installed by a simple dealer reflash and it is free to owners. This is also reversible, in case you decide that you want the original Valet Mode back.
This measure prevents a thief from making a speedy getaway in your car, but it doesn’t stop them in their tracks. That is why Dodge has developed two other, more aggressive options for Challenger and Charger owners who want to make sure that no one creates a new key in an effort to steal their beloved Mopar muscle car.
Key Programming Lockdown
As mentioned above, the high tech thieves access the vehicle’s electrical system to program a new key. To put a stop to this, Dodge has developed the Key Programming Lockdown. As the name suggests, this locks the in-car portion of the key system, preventing thieves from creating a new key fob while allowing owners to retain all normal functions, which sounds like the perfect means of making these cars more secure.
There is only one downside to the Key Programming Lockdown. The same process is also what the dealership uses to make new keys for your Challenger or Charger, so if you have the lockdown performed, you will no longer be able to have a new key made unless you buy a new module. The module lists for $159, so if you lose all of your keys, you will need to buy new keys and a new module before having the key reprogrammed.
Dodge is aware that not being able to reprogram new keys can prove to be a headache down the road, so when owners take their Challenger or Charger in to have this software installed via a reflash of the computer system, they can also opt to have up to 2 keys made at a discounted rate.
The company is committed to having the Key Programming Lockdown available by January 2022, but the brand explained that they are targeting October 2021 for the initial rollout. At first, this solution will only be offered for 2020 and 2021 model year vehicles, but after the initial rollout, Dodge plans to release the software update approximately every six weeks to support an additional model year. This will continue back to the 2015 model year and it will be available for all Challengers and Chargers, regardless of the engine.
Finally, while this solution is currently being developed for the Challenger and Charger, the Dodge team recognizes the demand for increased security for Durango owners. The company plans to announce the Key Programming Lockdown for the roomy SUV in the near future.
The last new security system that Dodge has developed is the Intrusion Module, which will be offered for the 2022 model year Challenger and Charger. Standard on Scat Pack and SRT Hellcat models while being optional on SXT, GT and R/T models, the Intrusion Module will detect a window being broken or anything moving inside the vehicle while also incorporating an inclination sensor. If someone breaks a window, reaches in through an open window or tries to tow the car away, the alarm is activated in a similar fashion to many popular aftermarket alarm systems.
This measure can be deactivated via the radio head unit in the event that you park the car with people inside, or if you are hauling your Challenger or Charger somewhere in a trailer.
When you pair the Intrusion Module with the Key Programming Lockdown, thieves will not be able to create a new key, nor will they be able to break in or tow away a Dodge Challenger or Charger without the alarm blaring.
In summary, if you have a 2021 Challenger or Charger, you can upgrade to the Enhanced Security Mode starting on Monday. If you have a 2020 or 2021 model, you could be able to add the Key Programming Lockdown system as soon as October and if you own one of the muscle cars from 2015 through 2019, that system could be available early next year. If you buy a 2022 model, it will come with the Intrusion Module as either a standard or optional feature.
Mopar Electronic Vehicle Tracking System
If you want a tighter security system right away, Mopar offers their Electronic Vehicle Tracking System or EVTS. This system costs $495 and offers far more elaborate tracking services than the standard UConnect® Guardian system. It cannot be disabled through the UConnect system and it includes features like geofencing, so you can monitor your vehicle’s movement when someone else is driving it. This system doesn’t prevent someone from stealing your Dodge, but if it does disappear, the Mopar EVTS provides live tracking services through Guidepoint Systems.
The Mopar Electronic Vehicle Tracking System isn’t model-specific, so you can have it installed and keep tabs on any modern Dodge vehicle.
Written by: Patrick Rall