The Motor Vehicle Security Association of South Africa (VESA) has issued a warning to motorists after finding that a number of electronics are affecting the tracking signals in cars.

Speaking to BusinessTech, Adri Smit of VESA said that a growing number of products in the retail market are being fitted in vehicles without meeting any industry-approved set of standards in both electrical and environmental specification.

In essence, such products cannot be confirmed for reliability or may not be fit for purpose. “In some cases, certain products cannot be reliably tracked, and the vehicle owner may be unaware that their system is not delivering the needed performance,” she said.

Often, users learn of malfunctions only when they are contacted by the supplier to have the unit replaced, which may happen only after testing was required through an often unwanted or unscheduled situation.

Smith added that for this reason, stringent electrical, environmental or EMC specifications and standards have been adopted by all motor vehicle manufacturers to ensure that the products fitted to motor vehicles are reliable and will operate without adversely affecting the functionality of other systems in the vehicle.

VESA has identified a number of devices, including MP3 players, which have not been approved by Icasa and transmit various frequency bands which affect GPS positioning and the transmission of data from tracking devices. They are working with Icasa to address this problem, as it is a fairly common in the motor vehicle industry.

Smit added that all VESA Approved Telematics products provides for the highest level possible in security by the required inclusion of data encryption. Sadly, the over-saturation of frequency bands, with high amplitude signals in the correct frequency band, would still cause jamming.

They are also working with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) towards setting acceptable standards and service definitions.

Picture: Felix Russell/Unsplash

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Lucinda is a lifestyle writer with a hard news edge, and recent journalism graduate. She enjoys reading travel blogs and loves animals.