Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL) introduced an additional security measure in its cars on Thursday to prevent theft - a factory fitted immobiliser.
Branded as iCATs (Intelligent Computerized Anti-Theft System), the gadget is an electronic system that works on digitally encrypted codes and hence is tamper-proof. Cars equipped with the iCATs have a secret code on the car key fob. This code is matched with the corresponding code on Electronic Control Unit (ECU) of the car. Only if the two codes match, the ECU allows the engine to start.
Following the total vehicle security offered by the iCAT, ICICI bank has offered special interest rates for cars equipped with them. Insurance companies too will offer a rebate of Rs 500 on the insurance premium for cars equipped with iCATs.
The device raises the cost of the cars marginally, by Rs 1000 to Rs 4000, depending on the model.
Maruti managing director Jagdish Khattar said, “The customer has always been at the centre of all Maruti initiatives. "We have been concerned at the increasing number of car thefts and the loss and inconvenience caused to our customers. The factory fitted iCATs will provide the customer a fool-proof device that prevents theft of their cars. We have equipped our cars with a feature found only in advanced car markets like the EU and Australia.”
A vehicle is stolen every six minutes in India, as per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Further, the theft of vehicles has shown an increasing trend in recent times. Data for the period 2003-05 reflects a 23 per cent increase in vehicle thefts.
The NCRB also points out that out of every four stolen cars only one is recovered. Of the stolen vehicles, the share of Maruti compact cars is relatively high owing to their higher resale value, ready market and ease of disposal.
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