Researchers in Germany and Britain have found a security flaw in remote controlled car locking systems of 100 million vehicles worldwide that could leave them vulnerable to hackers, German media reported Thursday.
Broadcasters NDR and WDR and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported that the researchers had identified problems in several models of Volkswagen vehicles, and that of its subsidiaries Audi, Seat and Skoda.
According to the media reports, millions of vehicles can be unlocked by copying the radio frequency of the auto-locking system.
Similar problems were found in Opel, Ford and Renault cars.
Volkswagen said that it was aware of the issue and that it had engaged in a "constructive dialogue" with the researchers. But the German carmaker, already hit by an emissions test scandal, emphasized that it wasn't possible to steal a vehicle in this way.
Opel said there was "no significant risk" to its customers, citing the technical complexities of carrying out such a hack and the limited instances in which it would be successful.