GARDAÍ in Limerick have issued a further warning to the owners of second-hand Japanese import cars.
A noticeable rise in thefts of certain models of car have been reported to Gardaí across the city and county, with thieves targeting certain cars to steal and use for joy riding.
Japanese imported cars are at significantly higher risk of being stolen, due to the lack of an immobiliser, which makes the car easier to steal.
Under EU regulations, cars must be fitted with an immobiliser as an extra security measure, but this rule is not in place in Japan.
An immobiliser prevents the car from starting if the right key or fob is not used.
The Toyota Aqua, Toyota Vitz, and Mazda Demio models are particularly at risk, with a large spike in reports of thefts or attempted thefts of these models across the Limerick Garda Division.
Garda John Finnerty, of Henry Street Garda Station, said that there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of theft around these types of car.
“If you are buying a car, ask the car dealer if the car has an immobiliser fitted.”
“If it hasn’t, you can get one fitted retrospectively,” he said.