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Old 1st November 2010, 16:03   #1
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Default Theft of ECM Box of M-800 in Delhi

Not a good start to the week

My M-800 MPFI gets parked outside the society gate alongside the boundary wall of the park. Today morning when my driver tried to crank it in the morning, the car refused to start. He then realized that the passenger side door had been tampered with and some loose wires were hanging below the dashboard on the passenger side.

We initially suspected it to be a case of attempted car theft and getting saved because of gear lock. However, when a local mechanic was called to inspect, he declared that the ECM has been stolen and probably that was the objective of the theft. The loose hanging wires are the ones that connected to the ECM.

This effectively meant that the car was not mobile any more. The mechanic suggested that the new ECM from Maruti would cost around 15-20K and it's better to get one from the Mayapuri car market for 4-5K where these stolen stuff is sold.

I became circumspect as ECM is literally brain of the car and any wrong component could be detrimental to the vehicle. I then called Maruti helpline and enquired about the same. They said that the day before they had recieved 4 such enquiries and looks like some ECM stealing gang is on the prowl. As per them the OEM part is around 14.5K and 50% could be borne by insurance. Since my insurance is Tata AIG, they said that I will have to pay upfront and get claim from them later. However, for the claim/inspection thing, a copy of FIR is mandatory.

Earlier I had thought of not filing an FIR believing that nothing was missing and it was an attempted theft but once I discovered that ECM had been indeed stolen, I decided to report the same to police. Called 100 and cops came on a bike, they just looked at the car and noted the number. They then called up the local police station and told me that someone would come from there. After about 15-20 mins another 2 cops arrived on a bike. They noted the car number, called the locality security guards , asked a few questions etc. Now they told me to write an application to SHO with the subject that my car's ECM has been stolen mentioning the car number and when I had last parked and seen the vehicle etc. I wrote that application and gave it to them. They subsequently told me that some ASI from Police station would now come and he would make the FIR.

I am confused about this multi step process but thats how it works probably. The first set of cops were i guess the ones who just attended the call to 100 and then handed over the case to local police station. I had expected the second set of guys to finish the formal reporting but looks like thats not the way it happens!. In any case, I waited for the ASI to come but he called me around 2PM to tell that he is stuck and can only come in the evening ( I had told him earlier that I have to go to office and will be back by around 7ish in the evening ).

He should now turn up in the evening. Lets see how it goes. I hope he doesnt trouble me for filing a simple FIR.

Additionally I would like comments of the community on whether I am doing the right thing by getting ECM changed through authorized station. Even after doing all this, bad part is that I will still have to park the car at the same place and this thing can probably happen again
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Old 2nd November 2010, 11:03   #2
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Originally Posted by svaid View Post
As per them the OEM part is around 14.5K and 50% could be borne by insurance. Since my insurance is Tata AIG, they said that I will have to pay upfront and get claim from them later. However, for the claim/inspection thing, a copy of FIR is mandatory.
OEM is the best way to go. However, you could try sourcing the same OEM part (brand new) cheaper from after-market dealers. I hope you've started the procedures to formally notify your insurance company.

Many others have been victims too. Look up this thread (Trends in Car Theft - ECM's in business rather than ICE) for more information.

What should you do? Get a pro-grade anti theft alarm system with motion sensors. If you have an option, park the car in a safer place, preferably one which has a watchman nearby.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 11:22   #3
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OEM is the best way to go. However, you could try sourcing the same OEM part (brand new) cheaper from after-market dealers. I hope you've started the procedures to formally notify your insurance company.
As per my information from the local shops, either I can get a used one from Mayapuri or will have to source a new one from some shop in Green park market which will also take 3-4 days. Since I decided to get the OEM only, I dumped the idea of sourcing it from Green Park and stick to getting one from Maruti authorized workshop . I read somewhere else on the forum that even the ECM has multiple variants for the same model because of BS-3,4 thing. So it looked like getting from Maruti would be a wiser thing to do rather then getting some old ECM.

I was thinking of informing the insurance company once I have a copy of FIR with me. Should I inform them right away?
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Old 2nd November 2010, 13:04   #4
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Yes, inform the insurance company straight away, too much delay might give them a reason to reject your claim, best would be to call their customer service, inform and take down the ticket number, then drop an email on their customer care email address confirming the entire chain of event.

I have learned that communication on phone followed by a quick email works wonders with insurance companies, banks etc.

They will know that you are a guy of records and would not make you run around here and there
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Old 2nd November 2010, 14:06   #5
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Originally Posted by savaid
Additionally I would like comments of the community on whether I am doing the right thing by getting ECM changed through authorized station
Yes, you're getting peace of mind free of charge when you buy it from M.A.S.S. Who knows? The guy who stole your ECU might've sold it to second hand market where you get the cheap stuffs like your mechanic says...

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it's better to get one from the Mayapuri car market for 4-5K where these stolen stuff is sold
Somehow, this incident reminds me of the monograms stealing in Mumbai
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Old 2nd November 2010, 17:50   #6
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When a local mechanic was called to inspect, he declared that the ECM has been stolen and probably that was the objective of the theft.
Did your M800 come with iCats ? If it did, it wouldn't be a shoe-in for any other M800 - at least not without some "tinkering" with the ECM.

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Additionally I would like comments of the community on whether I am doing the right thing by getting ECM changed through authorized station. Even after doing all this, bad part is that I will still have to park the car at the same place and this thing can probably happen again
In my opinion, you're always safer with an authorized setup. See if you can get the serial number of the new ECM - then if it gets stolen again (God forbid !), you can probably ask Maruti to keep an eye out for it.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 18:07   #7
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How will icats help?
It just prevents the starting of car without its own key. However, it will allow thiefs to steal, doors, engine, parts or whatever.
iTiger may help. The tiger will eat the thief as he tries to steal the ECM
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Old 2nd November 2010, 18:31   #8
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How will icats help ? It just prevents the starting of car without its own key.
If the ECM in question came with iCats, it can't be used in any other M800 without its paired key.

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It will allow thiefs to steal, doors, engine, parts or whatever.
No contest, especially with the M800, which's a pretty easy car to get into in the first place
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Old 2nd November 2010, 18:33   #9
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I think icats is an add on module which kind of piggy backs on the ECM or something. Unless the iCats code is hard wired into the ECM itself, all the thief needs to do is plug out the icats.
Infact, after icats, thiefs have started stealing ECMs instead of cars, since stealing the car is a lot more difficult.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 18:38   #10
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What im_srini meant was the stolen ECM wouldn't work in another vehicle without the correct RFID key code, because of the icats, unless they figure out a hack or get access to the key codes based on ECU serial #.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 19:25   #11
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My car is 2000 year model - so it does not have any iCats. I had a silicon central locking system and a gear lock. The central locking system was not working for past few weeks. So effectively the gear lock was the only shield for preventing car theft. However, the objective looked to be just stealing the ECM as nothing else was touched.

After talking to few mechanics, I realized that ECM of M-800 is pretty easy to steal. There are just 2 screws which need to be removed and it can be taken out. No wonder that combined with the fact that M-800 doors are relatively easy to open - ECM stealing in M-800 is pretty common. Probably I should get the screws welded for preventing theft again

Today I called up Tata AIG which insure my vehicle and provided them the details. They have given me a claim reference number and told me that once I get the FIR number I should get the same updated with them. They have told me that I can take the car to service station and they will assign somebody to inspect it from their end. I provided them the details that I will be taking the car to MSM tomorrow. I also enquired if I will be paid for the towing charges as well since the car is not starting without ECM. The response was that the towing charges are paid for 4-wheelers with a cap of Rs. 1500. The local towing service is asking for Rs 850/- to tow from my place to MSM - so I guess it is fine.

I then called up MSM and told them if I can bring the car. They are saying that they do have the ECM and I can bring the car tomorrow. So thats where the story is as of now and I plan to take the car to MSM sometime tomorrow morning using the towing service.

I also called up the ASI from the local police station for getting the FIR thing done. He was outside at some other location and initially told me that he will check if someone is there in the police station who can give me the FIR copy. But when I called him later, he told me that I can get it tomorrow evening only. Lets see how this goes !!

I had one question for you folks. Now I am yet to get an FIR copy - and in the best case I will get it tomorrow evening. Is it fine that I remove the car from the scene of the incident and take it to the service station. The insurance guys are fine with it - I am not sure if cops would create an issue out of it. Your inputs are welcome.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 20:25   #12
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I had one question for you folks. Now I am yet to get an FIR copy - and in the best case I will get it tomorrow evening. Is it fine that I remove the car from the scene of the incident and take it to the service station. The insurance guys are fine with it - I am not sure if cops would create an issue out of it. Your inputs are welcome.
Was the FIR registered? If yes you can move your car. If not then its wise to ask the cops before you move it.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 10:21   #13
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I doubt you will get the FIR so easily. It seems they are simply trying to postpone it again and again. My cousin had to do a lot running around for getting the FIR for ECM.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 11:07   #14
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I doubt you will get the FIR so easily. It seems they are simply trying to postpone it again and again. My cousin had to do a lot running around for getting the FIR for ECM.
I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am planning to call up the ASI today evening to see if something can be worked out. One query - Did your cousin have to do anything special to expedite getting the FIR OR is it just that cops took a lot of time providing the same?

Additionally I had called up the ASI a few minutes back to confirm whether I can now tow the car to the service station to which he said yes.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 11:30   #15
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There are two things - a FIR as a 'Complaint Registered' note. The latter is in the nature of an ack. and indicates that they have noted your complaint, and are not likely to follow up. My daughter had her purse stolen in Delhi and got this note. On the basis of this she could easily get a new Driving License etc.
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