Tech advances in the automotive sector have been rapid and, for the most part, make the life of users easier. Sometimes, though, things can get a bit wayward.
Nowadays, numerous automakers offer applications that enable you to locate your vehicle’s position or remotely operate some of its functions, like locking or unlocking the doors or turning on the climate control, are becoming widespread. As one man found out, however, there’s still work to be done.
In May, Masamba Sinclair rented a Ford Expedition from Enterprise Rent-a-Car last May and connected it to the FordPass app. During his tenure, he had no issues with it.
“I enjoyed it and logged into FordPass to be able to access vehicle features from my phone such as locking, unlocking, and starting the engine,” the 34-year-old man told ArsTechnica. “I liked the idea of it more than I found it useful. The UI does look good and work well, though.”
The thing is that Sinclair returned the Expedition on May 31 – yet, five months later, he still has access over all the car, which must have obviously rented by numerous others during that time period, via the application.
“All it took was me downloading the app and entering the VIN, then confirming connectivity through the infotainment system,” Sinclair said. “There MIGHT be a way to disassociate my phone from the car itself, but that hasn’t happened yet, and it’s crazy to put the onus on renters to have to do that. I have had no problems at all and have even unlocked the doors and started the engine when I could see that the vehicle was in the Missoula airport rental car parking lot.”
Sinclair has done the right thing and reported the issue to Ford – he even tweeted about it, asking for it to be solved, and put up a video on YouTube, which you can view below. Yet, at the time of writing (September 29), he still can access the Expedition. We don’t know if that’s just a glitch with this particular rental, or a bug within the app itself. If it’s the latter, then some may not act as nicely as Sinclair and, instead, take advantage of this security flaw.