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That's one way to stop car thieves! Toyota has patented a device that dispenses TEAR GAS into the vehicle when it detects it's being broken into

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 14/03/2019 Rob Hull For Thisismoney.co.uk

© Thomson Reuters Japanese vehicle maker Toyota has come up with an ingenious plan to deal with the rise in thieves stealing cars.

The firm, which produces the new Corolla at the Burnaston plant in Derbyshire, has patented the design for a fragrance dispenser that - when the vehicle is broken into - can turn into an anti-theft device.

It can detect when the vehicle has been accessed by a criminal. And when it it releases a toxic spray of tear gas into the cabin to immoblise the thief.

a car parked on the side of a vehicle: Eye-watering car security: Toyota has issued a patent for a feature that can detect when one of its vehicles is being stolen and releases tear gas into the cabin © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Eye-watering car security: Toyota has issued a patent for a feature that can detect when one of its vehicles is being stolen and releases tear gas into the cabin

The feature was discovered by Australian website WhichCar.

The patent was issued by the Japanese car brand in August 2018 and was recently published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

a close up of a map: The patent drawings show that the fragrance dispenser can identify when the owner's phone is in close proximity. When it does, it releases a spritz of perfume into the vehicle © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The patent drawings show that the fragrance dispenser can identify when the owner's phone is in close proximity. When it does, it releases a spritz of perfume into the vehicle The system is a new mode of anti-theft device designed to tackle vehicle crime, which has increased in recent years due to a spate of keyless thefts using remote technology to access vehicles.

According to the patent drawings revealed, the feature operates as a conventional fragrance system under normal operation.

a close up of a map: However, if the immobiliser is triggered and the signal from the key isn't identified, the dispenser fires out a dose of tear gas to stop the car thief in their tracks © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited However, if the immobiliser is triggered and the signal from the key isn't identified, the dispenser fires out a dose of tear gas to stop the car thief in their tracks The system can identify when the vehicle owner is approaching the car by their smartphone and spritzes the interior with perfume before they enter and begin their journey. Sounds pleasant enough, right?

However, if an 'illegitimate engine start' is identified the system turns nasty and gives a would-be thief a face-full of tear gas to deter them from taking the car.

Tear gas is a chemical weapon that causes severe eye and respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and even blindness. In the eye, it stimulates the nerves of the lacrimal gland to produce tears and is often used by police to break-up riots © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Tear gas is a chemical weapon that causes severe eye and respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and even blindness. In the eye, it stimulates the nerves of the lacrimal gland to produce tears and is often used by police to break-up riots It does this by triggering the immobliser which can only be deactivated by having the vehicle's key in close proximity.

If the key isn't with the occupant inside the car and no signal can be located, the dispenser releases the potent spray. 

While it might be a legitimate patent, there's no guarantee that this sort of system will go into production vehicles.

a close up of a car: There is no guarantee that the anti-theft system will make it into Toyota vehicles in the future, though it presents an ingenious solution to rising car crime © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited There is no guarantee that the anti-theft system will make it into Toyota vehicles in the future, though it presents an ingenious solution to rising car crime That's especially the case with security designs that can cause significant harm to a high-spending Toyota customer if the feature malfunctions - because nothing says lawsuit like being pepper-sprayed by the car you've just bought for £30,000.

However, with the rise in organised criminal gangs taking high-value vehicles from owners' driveways without them ever noticing, this has the potential to become an eye-watering feature for the future. 

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