first_imgA motoring expert has told a judge that it now impossible to steal or hotwire a car without a key.Motoring expert Liam Cotter leaving Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court. Pic by Northwest Newspix.Motoring expert Liam Cotter was speaking as a Donegal court dismissed a claim of loss by a woman who said her car had been stolen from her house. Kathleen McDonagh told Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court that she attended a friend’s wedding in Cavan on August 11th, 2012.However when she returned to her home at Ballymacool Woods in Letterkenny, her 2009 Toyota Avensis car was gone.There was no sign of a break-in or broken glass and Ms McDonagh said she had both keys with her.However, 16 months later the car turned up on the side of a road at Portlean, Milford and was returned to Ms McDonagh.Liberty Insurance, Ms McDonagh’s insurer had refused to pay out when the car went missing initially.After recovering her car, which she had bought for £9,000 sterling, Ms McDonagh sold the vehicle to her husband Charlie for €6,000.She then took a claim against Liberty Insurance for the theft of her car.However, barrister for Liberty Insurance Mr Peter Nolan said his client were not of the opinion that the car was ever stolen.When found the car was examined and there was evidence of leaves on the grill, cobwebs in its interior and scratch-marks on its roof where it had been covered by some form of sheeting.The company’s motoring expert witness, Liam Cotter, a motoring consultant with more than 25 years experience as a mechanic and loss assessor, said it was just “internet chatter” that cars could be stolen using a laptop computer and cloning the immobiliser unit.“There is lot of chatter about cloning but a lot of it is just urban myth – a lot of it is nonsense.“I’m in the business and I carry a laptop and I frequently interrogate vehicles’ electronic systems and even with my years of experience I would find it impossible.“This nonsense or idea that someone can scan a frequency and start a car with a laptop, I’m sorry to say is not accurate,” he said.Judge Hannan asked Mr Cotter if he was saying that no amount of “electronic wizzardry” could start a car manufactured since 2002 without a key.“That’s correct,” replied Mr Cotter.However barrister for Ms McDonagh, Mr James O’Donnell said he believed cloning was taking place and asked Mr Cotter was it not the case that high-end cars were being stolen to order across Ireland and there was evidence of this.Mr Cotter replied that in such cases cars were being completed lifted away and then brought abroad to be worked on and were not simply broken into and driven away.Having heard all the evidence including more details from Garda Brendan Mahon and claims manager for Liberty Insurance, Mr Keith Barr, Judge Hannon said he was dismissing the claim of loss and breach of contract taken by Ms McDonagh.He referred to the evidence given by Mr Cotter that a car manufactured since 2002 could not be started without a key.And he added “I found Mrs McDonagh to be a presentable person but I do not know what is going on in the background. It makes me wonder who the player was. An interesting case.”DONEGAL COURT TOLD IT’S NOW IMPOSSIBLE TO STEAL A CAR WITHOUT A KEY was last modified: March 25th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:carcar theftdonegalExpertimmobiliserKathleen McDonaghKeysletterkennyPeter Nolanlast_img read more