Dodge should run for political office...
Dodge is finally revealing some plans on how it will roll out the promised and delayed Enhanced Security Mode. What’s more, the automaker has announced 2 additional new security measures, although as you’re about to see those won’t be coming out as soon as you might hope and they has some caveats. Plus, there’s a big catch with the rollout of Enhanced Security Mode we're sure won't make Dodge owners too happy.
Remember when thieves stole new Durango Hellcats directly from Dodge's factory? Check it out here.
First, Dodge is furious about coverage we and other news outlets have been doing about Mopar muscle car theft. In its announcement of these new technologies, the company spends two paragraphs ranting about reports which have “glorified” the trend of Dodge muscle car thefts. We certainly don’t glorify car thieves at all – we think they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Nobody wants their car stolen, but Dodge instead is upset and wants to talk about vehicle theft statistics in a way that makes the company look good.
Dodge also uses the same argument Tesla does about its Autopilot crashes, that an “inordinate number of articles” covering the topic has made the problem seem worse than it is. The automaker curiously ignores the fact law enforcement has also highlighted the problem. We think Dodge owners just want a solution because they know there’s a problem. The fact Dodge is even deploying these security updates indicates the automaker also knows there’s a problem, yet at the same time Dodge is trying to downplay the severity so everyone will calm down. This move is so incredibly transparent it’s laughable.
Enhanced Security Mode, the measure Dodge said would be launched by the end of June, is finally coming to a dealer near you, but you may have a long wait before getting it. This technology uses a 4-digit security code in the radio head unit to maintain the engine at idle speed and limit output to 2.8-horsepower. After an unexpectedly long wait, the fix will be available starting on August 16. We’re hopeful the extra month and a half to get this ready means it will work that much better.
As a reminder, Enhanced Security Mode will only be installed on Dodge Chargers and Challengers with the 392 Hemi or the supercharged Hellcat Hemi. There’s no charge for the install, which replaces the original Valet Mode with this enhanced measure.
Now here’s the kicker: only 2021 Dodge Challengers and Chargers can have Enhanced Security Mode installed starting on August 16. Yep, after all that waiting, if you own a not-brand-new Mopar muscle car you’ll have to wait even longer for the fix promised by the end of June.
At some point the 2020 models will also be added to the mix of installations. Then at an unspecified date Dodge will start rolling out the software for the 2015-2019 model years, adding one model year every six weeks until it’s available for all of them. Since the company doesn’t give firm dates, nobody can hold their feet to the fire on when all this actually happens, which isn’t surprising considering their tendency to just blow right past promises.
Are you confused by this complicated rollout of Dodge’s Enhanced Security Mode? If so, you’re probably not alone. It almost seems like the release of this software update is unnecessarily complicated on purpose so it’s harder for anyone to call out Dodge on breaking more promises.
Another security measure just announced by Dodge is Key Programming Lockdown. This technology is designed to keep thieves from programming new keys to your car, something we see done often. There is a drawback: if you go ahead with this the dealership can’t make new keys for your car, so you’ll have to buy a complete new module at $159 plus new keys. This measure will be made available for 2020 and 2021 models “as early as October” according to Dodge, so don’t hold your breath since the automaker is obviously giving itself an out for releasing it much later. However, before we wax too cynical, Dodge does say it’s “committed to having the system in action by January 2022.” We’re sure that makes everyone feel much better.
Finally, Intrusion Module will be coming in the future. This technology senses glass breaking, movement inside the car, or the vehicle suddenly inclining (like if it’s being loaded onto a wrecker) which will automatically trigger the alarm. It can of course be disabled if you’re towing the car or have parked and are just sitting inside. That all sounds great, but you’ll have to buy a new Dodge muscle car to enjoy this one since it will only be available for 2022 Challengers and Chargers.
In its announcement of these new security measures, Dodge made sure to plug its Electronic Vehicle Tracking System since it’s available right now. You can buy the system and have it installed at your Dodge dealership immediately, but we’ve heard mixed things about how well it works from Dodge owners. However, Dodge wants you to know you can spend more money and get this feature installed, in case you’re worried about the constant delays of the free security upgrades.