Johannesburg - Much has been written in recent months about the increased incidence of remote jamming as a way to steal goods out of parked cars without having to break into them.

The problem is, of course, that without physical evidence of forced entry the victim can’t even claim from their insurance.

Insurance companies and carmakers alike have been reduced to advising motorists to physically check their car doors and boot before walking away. But but for some motorists - particularly mothers with small toddlers in tow - that’s simply not practicable, and besides, doesn’t that negate the point of paying extra for remote locking anyway?

Now, for the first time that we’ve heard of, a carmaker has done something about it.

Hyundai SA is offering the ZX Jam Alert, made by Sanji Security Systems in Kyalami Business Park, as an optional accessory for any of its models, either when you buy it or as an aftermarket fitment.

It’s actually quite simple, consisting of a radio receiver tuned to the same universal frequency as all car keys, garage and security-gate remotes, a clever little computer chip and a small, high-pitched siren.

Watch how quickly car-jamming happens

If the chip detects an uncoded, continuous radio transmission - which is how the bad guys block the coded signal from your key and prevent the car from locking - it lets go with four 110-decibel sound pulses from the siren. At that point everybody for several hundred metres in every direction will be uncomfortably aware that the person walking quickly away from the squealing car has just tried to break into it.

Be warned: 110 decibels is seriously loud - be careful where you test the system.

The Jam Alert costs R896.61 including VAT and installation; it comes in a water-resistant housing and carries a three-year or 100 000km warranty. Fitted in the engine compartment of your car, it draws power directly from the car’s battery but, since it operates independently of your car’s electronics, it doesn’t require any complicated surgery on the wiring.

It only takes about 45 minutes to install - or a few minutes more if you want the optional back-up battery as well, to keep it alive if your car’s battery goes flat - and Sanji supplies full instructions on how to test the Jam Alert after installation, to make sure it will warn you if a jammer is operating in the vicinity of your car.

Just be careful where you do it.

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our newsletter