Just over 150 cars are stolen per day in the United States. Vehicle theft may be (relatively) uncommon, but it’s very inconvenient and invasive—and altogether more familiar to Dodge Charger sedan and Challenger coupe owners than most. Why? These powerful American muscle cars are popular among thieves, and are often stolen for parts and plain old joyrides.
Dodge has responded with a new security feature that limits the vehicles’ speed to just 3 mph by restricting engine performance to idle provided owners can set the car into “Security Mode.” Activating and (more importantly) deactivating this mode requires the use of a four-digit security code. Should someone hop behind the wheel and get the car started without this code, the would-be thief would be kept from making a quick getaway—literally.
You see, at idle Dodge’s V-8 engines turn over at just 675 rpm, which is only enough to generate a measly 2.8 hp and 22 lb-ft of torque. Good luck escaping from literally anything with that pittance of power—certain lawn mowers could catch up. According to Dodge, that’s the point; this deterrent is intended to prevent stolen vehicles from making appearances in high-speed chases and to stop criminals from getting away from the police.
The engine-restricting feature is, unironically, restricted to Dodge models with certain engines, namely high-output V-8s. Security Mode is offered for 2015-2021 Dodge Charger SRT and Challenger SRT models as well 2019-2021 Scat Pack models. Chargers and Challengers with the V-6 and R/T versions with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 aren’t included, so those owners are probably punching the air right now. For now, Dodge won’t offer Security Mode for those lower-power offerings in its range.
Dodge Charger and Challenger owners can go to the dealer to get the free software update installed on their vehicles at the end of the second quarter of 2021. Until then, keep an eye on those Scat Pack, SRT Hellcat, and Redeye models …