Earlier this week a man driving a stolen Dodge Charger passed a Michigan State Trooper while traveling over 120 MPH just before he lost control and crashed into two other vehicles. It’s the kind of incredible video that’s perhaps a bit too common, and now Dodge is releasing a software update that might cut down on exactly that type of incident.
Autoblog points out the Security Mode update that the carmaker will soon make available to owners of 2015 or newer Charger and Challenger models equipped with large HEMI V-8 engines. It’s adding two-factor authentication, only instead of sending a push notification to your phone or generating a code, it’s a simple four-digit PIN. Combining something you know with something you have (your car key) is required to make the car unlock its full potential. With the security feature turned on, unless you input the code the engine won’t rev beyond idle speed (675 RPM) where it only has about 2.8 HP and 22 pound-feet of torque.
That’s more than enough to put an end to high-flying valet dreams or any kind of especially reckless joyriding. This is one feature where Tesla has been ahead of other manufacturers, as it added a PIN-to-drive security mechanism in 2018 to address the same issue of thieves using cloned or spoofed keys.
Owners of Dodge muscle cars will be able to add the feature with a free software update installed by their dealer in the second quarter of this year.