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Cadillac Fortifies Escalade, Most-Stolen Vehicle

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author photo by Nick Palermo January 2012
  • Some measures to prevent drive-off theft already in place
  • New enhancements focus on push-away, towing thefts
  • Designed to maximize theft prevention while minimizing inconvenience to drivers

Back in August, we reported that the Escalade, Cadillac's flagship luxury SUV, tops the Highway Loss Data Institute's list of most-stolen vehicles. The Escalade and Escalade EXT, its open-bed sister model, is six to eight times more likely to be stolen than the average vehicle. Cadillac hopes to address the Escalade's vulnerability and minimize theft with new security features on the 2012 model, including improvements to prevent push-away and towing thefts as well as property and wheel theft.

Cadillac says Escalade's existing technologies, including the OnStar system, are effective deterrents against typical drive-away auto theft. However, a new encryption system for the key, key cylinder and ignition system called PASS Key 3+ further minimizes thieves' ability to breach the ignition lock.

Other enhancements are aimed at push-away and towing thefts, including a tougher steering column lock that prevents maneuvering the parked vehicle, for instance onto a flatbed. Another is an optional inclination sensor. This sounds an alarm if the angle of the vehicle is changed, alerting those nearby should the vehicle be lifted or jacked up in an attempted towing theft or wheel theft. A new wheel lock system is also available to help prevent the latter.

A shock sensor aimed at minimizing property theft is also optional for 2012. The shock sensor sounds an alarm in the event of an impact against the vehicle. Breaking window glass could set it off.

Bill Biondo, General Motors' global leader for vehicle theft prevention, says that, together with safe practices by owners, these technologies can significantly reduce theft of the Escalade.

"Combined, these technologies comprise one of the most extensive sets of theft-deterrent measures available for this type of vehicle and meet or exceed security specifications among global vehicle security analysts," Biondo said.

Cadillac recommends a few defensive strategies drivers can use to keep their vehicles safe, too. Some, like not leaving a vehicle running with the key in it, are obvious. Others, like locking the vehicle with the key fob to ensure the alarm is on, or adding wheel locks to premium wheels, are easy but effective strategies.

What it means to you: While Cadillac's new security measures for the Escalade will not prevent every theft, they may keep the company's flagship SUV from topping the LHDI's 2012 list of most-stolen vehicles.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Cadillac Fortifies Escalade, Most-Stolen Vehicle - Autotrader