MYVI owners [particularly Premium, Special Edition, and even the new Exclusive Edition], beware! THE [‘duh’] most popular car in Malaysia is now being targeted by thieves.
Malay Mail learnt recently that syndicates have been stealing airbags, the single most expensive part in the car’s cabin — to resell them in the black market to unscrupulous parts dealers.
And while consumers can install “second hand” airbags from unauthorised dealers at cheaper prices at about RM1,000, instead of RM5,000 for a pair, many are unaware of the dangers — that the airbag may function nor may deploy at odd times. Or worse, it could explode and injure the installer.
What is more worrying about this thieving trend is that it is not difficult to do for those with the expertise.
Following several complaints to Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua), the car manufacturing company found that there was a security weakness in the car that could be exploited.
Thieves with the technical know-how could apparently open up the Myvi hood easily, short-circuit certain equipment and gain access to all the vehicle doors. From that point onwards, stealing the airbags is a breeze.
Following months of research, Perodua has come up with a counterplan and has fixed anti-theft features on new cars coming out next year.
Older models would, however, need to return to service centres for an upgrade.
This spate of bizzare Myvi airbag thefts, which began cropping-up last year, has also concerned police so much that Kuala Lumpur and Malacca police have formed special task-forces to target the syndicate.
Kuala Lumpur deputy CID chief ACP Khairi Ahrasa said: “There have been more than 50 cases reported in the Sentul district itself.
“We have formed a taskforce and are investigating who may be behind the thefts,” he said, adding that there was a sudden increase since June this year.
Such thefts have been reported in Wangsa Maju, Setapak, and Kepong. A source said there have also been cases in Petaling Jaya, Brickfields, and Cheras. Malacca CID chief ACP Adnan Abdulllah said that the state had recorded more than 17 cases.
“The majority of the cases are in central Malacca. We have formed a taskforce to investigate the cases,” he said, adding that they are also working closely with their Kuala Lumpur counterparts.
And while Perodua itself has received about five complaints, the total number of unreported cases cannot be established.