Just days after Tesla founder Elon Musk said a fleet-wide hack is one of his biggest concerns, thieves have reportedly stolen up to 9 Model S cars in Europe.
Dutch news service nrc.nl reports that 9 Teslas may have been taken by hackers in recent weeks, quoting victims in the Netherlands that have spoken to local police.
Tesla vehicles have always-on GPS tracking that allows vehicle owners to report any theft to the manufacturer. The car can then be remotely stopped and located by Tesla to stop the thief from taking it any further.
However, the recent Dutch cases have seen hackers get around the in-built GPS system to steal the cars undetected. Tech security publication SCmedia reported that the hacking method is as yet unknown.
A Tesla Australia spokesperson told Business Insider that the company has been working with Dutch insurer Turien, who first discovered the pattern of theft.
“Turien has been a valuable partner by assisting in our investigation. While the tactics used to facilitate these thefts apply to many vehicles and are certainly not unique to Tesla, we are uniquely positioned to try to stop them and are developing a software update to do so,” the spokesperson said.
Tesla’s sophisticated battery and parts are valuable on the black market, and SCmedia reports the recently stolen cars may have been stripped for such a purpose.
“One chopped-up Model S was discovered, by authorities, in the back of a truck attempting to enter Germany from the Netherlands leading some to believe other stolen Teslas may have suffered similar fates,” SCmedia reported.