There’s one Top 10 list that the Cadillac Escalade continually owns year-after-year: the Highway Loss Data Institute’s list of the most stolen vehicles in the United States. In an effort to wean its way off the most stolen list, Cadillac will be incorporating a host of security improvements into the 2012 Escalade to help deter — if not prevent — vehicle theft.
So, what’s new for 2012? For starters, the Pass III Key + immobilizer system. Technically, it’s not new — it’s been on Escalades for a few years now — but some coding revisions allegedly render it harder for a thief to crack. Cadillac says the encryption system that’s built into the key, ignition cylinder, and ignition system, should help curtail drive-away thefts.
Yet drive-aways in Escalades weren’t necessarily the norm. Instead, thieves were breaking their way into vehicles, jimmying the shifter out of park, allowing the vehicle to be pushed away. A steering column lock was added in 2010, but a new, more robust column lock is included on all 2012 models. Additionally, 2012 Escalades receive both an inclination sensor (that senses when a vehicle is being towed, flat-bedded, or jacked up) and a shock sensor (that detects if a window is smashed for entry). Cadillac is also fitting new wheel locks as standard equipment in an attempt to prevent thieves from walking away with the large (and expensive) wheels.
“The goal is to make the Escalade a very difficult target for thieves without any added inconvenience for customers,” said General Motors’ global chief for vehicle theft prevention, Bill Biondo, “The new systems work in the background and few people realize they are there, but they are strong added protections.”