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Are automakers ready to deal with hackers?

If you are in the market for a new car and are impressed with the latest technology offerings, you will be pleasantly surprised with what is currently available. From Bluetooth entertainment centers that allow us to control our phones with a push of a button, to sensors that scan the area surrounding the vehicle for unseen hazards, a number of technological advancements make cars safer.

 However, the potential for them to be compromised still exists. Simply put, unauthorized access to a vehicle’s systems is becoming a real problem that many automakers may not be prepared to deal with. 

According to a 60 Minutes report, computers put into today’s vehicles are networked to each other. These computers can be hacked remotely. This means that someone else can obtain unauthorized access to the computers and take control of the functions the computers are responsible for, such as acceleration functions, braking and car door locks.

Even more troubling, automakers may not be adequately prepared to deal with hackers. A wired.com report highlighted how hackers were able to infiltrate a Jeep’s systems and take control of the vehicle while someone was driving it. While Chrysler ultimately established a security patch to prevent unauthorized access, researchers are certain that further hacks will be on the horizon.

As this becomes a larger concern (even though it should already be one) automakers have a continuing duty to keep consumers informed of such defects and to take reasonable steps to remedy them. Should they fail to do so, they could be held liable for the ensuing accidents and injuries. 

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