Can a Mercedes Benz be stolen?


So you bought a new Mercedes Benz car and now you are wondering if it can be stolen. This brief article will discuss scenarios when it is possible to steal a Mercedes and which anti-theft systems are available to protect your car from theft.

Can a Mercedes be stolen?

Yes, it is possible to steal a Mercedes Benz car by stealing its Key. Mercedes Benz passenger cars use a keyless go system that uses up to four individual short-range antennas to scan keys. These antennas are located on the driver, front passenger doors,  inside the vehicle and near the luggage compartment. 

 When a Key comes within the range of anyone’s antenna, a drive authorization signal is requested after pressing the start-stop switch or by touching on the capacitive sensors present on door handles. As the keyless go system is connected directly to the main battery, antennas are always active and scanning for keys in a range of 2 meters.

When is it possible to steal a Mercedes?

  • If a customer is going on a long journey and decides to carry a spare key in the car, it’s possible to gain access and even drive it as the keyless go system will detect the spare key in the vehicle. It doesn’t matter which key is last used to drive the vehicle.
  • At a rest area if the vehicle is left unlocked with the engine running when the customer steps out of the car the key is not detected, the message is displayed on the instrument cluster. However, the engine will keep running even when the key is not in the vehicle and it is possible to drive the car until it is turned off.
  • Without the Key, forced entry can be gained inside the vehicle by breaking the glass and unlocking it from within the car. But in this situation, the vehicle cannot be started. Any valuable items left inside can be stolen including music system displays.
  • All the doors have an electronic lock actuator, if there is a malfunction in the locking actuator, the door can be opened by pulling the door handle from the outside.

What is an  Anti Theft Alarm in a Mercedes Benz car? 

Anti Theft Alarm or ATA for short is a security measure installed in Mercedes Benz passenger cars. It is possible to identify if a car is equipped with ATA by checking the ATA sticker on the windows. After locking the car the hazard lights will flash two times to indicate the ATA system is active.

The anti Theft Alarm system has its own horn located at a secured location on the vehicle. When the door is opened without unlocking the vehicle, this horn will remain activated until the lock or unlock button on the key fob is pressed. The horn also has an inbuilt battery so even if the horn is disconnected from the vehicle it will continue to work.

The ATA system also implements an in-car motion sensor to detect motion inside the cabin when the vehicle is locked. The sensor is activated approximately 30 seconds after the vehicle is locked and all doors are closed. The alarm is triggered if motion is detected inside the vehicle.

Tow away protection is also part of the anti-theft alarm system. A level sensor usually installed in the boot of the vehicle can detect whether the vehicle is being towed. It is also activated 30 seconds after locking the vehicle. It is necessary to deactivate the sensor when the vehicle has to be towed due to any reason.

Additional battery or capacitor is also present in the vehicle for deploying parking brakes, if the main battery is disconnected. The electronic ignition switch has an auxiliary power supply from an additional battery when the main battery is removed the Vehicle will also engage parking gear and it will not be possible to tow the vehicle.

Aftermarket Car tracking and anti-theft alarm systems.

If the Mercedes Benz model is not equipped with an anti-theft alarm system, many aftermarket similar systems are available. These systems mostly involve installing an ATA device that acts as an immobilizer by cutting off power to the fuel pump of the vehicle. Often such systems come integrated with mobile apps, customers can activate the immobilizer and turn off the vehicle as long as the device is connected to the internet.

As these types of systems are not part of the vehicle onboard electrical network, various fault codes can be generated and stored in the diagnostic memory of the vehicle. These fault codes occur as the immobilizer terminates power to the fuel supply and vehicle stalls. Hence, the fault memory must be cleared before using the vehicle again.

Installing such systems generally is expensive and requires knowledge of vehicle onboard electrical systems.  Motion-activated cameras are also a good alternative to Alarm systems. A camera installed in the vehicle activates and captures a picture if any motion is detected near the car. Live view is also available from the cameras to be viewed on mobile phones.

What is Mercedes me connect?

The latest Mercedes Benz models are equipped with a HERMES control module which has a 4g electronic sim built-in. The vehicle can stay connected to customers’ smartphones via the Mercedes Me Connect (MMC) application.

 Customers have full access to vehicle features via smartphone, and it is possible to lock/ unlock vehicles via a smartphone app. The live location of the vehicle can be determined as long as the vehicle is connected to the network.

 The geofencing feature can be used to set a boundary and instant notification is sent when the vehicle breaches the set boundary. 

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Ensuring the vehicle is locked and parked at a secured location is the responsibility of the customer. If the key is stolen, the customer must consult the nearest workshop and block the key to prevent unauthorized use of the vehicle. If the Keyless go system is installed, the key must be stored at least 2 meters away from the vehicle. It is beneficial to have at least one anti-theft alarm system installed in the car.

FAQs: Can a Mercedes be stolen?

How do I protect my Mercedes from Theft?

Always lock the vehicle and park it in a secure location. Activate any Anti Theft Alarm system installed in the vehicle. Store the key outside the range of Keyless go antennas. Consider installing dash cameras in cars and CCTV cameras in parking spots.

Can a Mercedes Benz be stolen without the key?

No, without the vehicle key it is not possible to start the car and even if entry is gained by breaking the window, the car will not start.

What cars are hardest to steal?

Cars with factory fitted anti-theft alarms are the hardest to steal. Modern cars have inbuilt network connectivity and can be tracked.

What car is the easiest to steal?

Cars with mechanical ignition switches and no immobilizer are the easiest to steal. A starter circuit can be bypassed to start the vehicle, some older models without electronic fuel injection can be started by pushing the vehicle.

Are push button cars harder to seal?

Push-button cars have an electronic ignition switch control unit which makes them some of the hardest vehicles to steal.