Security update for Ford Transit and Transit Custom

  • Software update changes unlocking process
  • Isolates load area from central locking
  • Recall intended to reduce risk of theft

Ford has issued a software update for the Transit and Transit Custom in an effort to boost the vans’ security against theft.

­The update (reference number 17P03, we understand) is a modification to the ‘body control module’ software, and it changes the way the central locking functions in order to better protect the load area, where valuable items such as tools are typically stored.

How does the Transit security software update work?

These Transits are fitted with one key-operated lock, on the driver’s door. Under the existing body control module software, turning this key automatically unlocks all of the doors – including those to the load area.

Ford Transit security update announced

This means that at present, criminals only need to compromise this single lock in order to gain access to the whole vehicle. A recent spate of thefts from vans, where Fords appear to have been particular targets, suggests that this has become common knowledge among unsavoury elements of society.

The new update disables this central locking function, so that the load area will remain locked even if the driver’s door lock is hacked or otherwise turned without the proper key.

The update also prevents the central locking button inside the cab from working unless the proper key is present.

Super-tough Ford Transit key during testing

The central locking system will still work from the key fob remote, so the level of inconvenience caused by this modification should be minimal.

Which Ford vans are affected by the software update?

We understand that the update will be applied to all Transits – plus Tourneo Customs – built between 28 March 2012 and 1 July 2017.

Will it cost me anything to have the software update done?

Not at all. This is a Ford-initiated recall and update, so the modification should be applied for free by your local dealership. Drop them a line if you’re particularly concerned.

Visit your local Ford Transit centre to get the security update done

In addition, as this is literally only a software update, there are no new parts to be fitted and no physical changes being made to the van – so it shouldn’t take very long to do, either, minimising your downtime.

I like the way I can unlock all of my Ford van’s doors at once – do I have to have the security update?

No, you can leave your van as is, if you prefer – and once news of the change starts circulating, criminals might stop expecting the vans to be easy targets, and instances of theft might drop.

But the update should significantly cut down on opportunism, and we’d highly recommend you do get the security change done. Ford will likely apply it automatically the next time you’re at the dealership anyway, just as it would with a new version of the engine management or other software.

Any news on the oil change issue for Ford Euro 6 EcoBlue engines?

We’re told Ford is continuing to work on this issue – which, as many owners have already experienced, might see the on-board computer start requesting an oil change after only a few thousand miles.

This is particularly galling, given the new 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engines are supposed to have 36,000-mile service intervals.

In the meantime, we’ve been told that Ford is covering the cost of these oil changes, so no customer should have to pay for these unexpectedly early requests.

Also read:

>> Our guide to van security

>> Police warn of Transit break-ins

>> Official details and pictures of the new 2018 Ford Transit Custom facelift

>> Nissan Navara ‘snapped chassis’ issue – everything you need to know

>> New 'super-tough' key for Ford Transit and Transit Custom