Axa bike locks in the media

Some Dutch media picked up on my last posting on AXA bike locks, including one of the most popular consumer television programs ‘Kassa’. Saturday prime-time, 1.4 million people watched Dirk Bolderman, head of AXA bicycle locks, answer the question how many locks might have this flaw. His answer: “Between 1998 and 2005 we produced four million locks. We assume 100.000 to 200.000 might have this vulnerability. And the locks can not be identified by their serial number”….
(video available as 33 MB quicktime or on YouTube)

Some people have serious doubts about Mr. Boldermans claims ….

The good thing is he did promise AXA will offer 50% discount on new additional bike locks soon.

I received mostly positive feedback for pointing out the ‘interesting’ AXA/Abus advertisement campaign. One exception is the Dutch association of bicycle enthusiasts (fietserbond). Normally I sympathize with them, as they are really doing good work for us bicyclists (yes, I ride a bike too). But they are now asking Dutch justice department to take ‘legal action’ against ‘these instructional video’s on internet’. They claim these video’s are criminal because they encourage criminal behavior. Sigh….

Now, there are lots of ways I can defend myself against these ridiculous claims. And I have no concerns on the legal part of it. We have a long list of lawyers that owe us a favor, mainly because of our technical assistance in difficult court-cases (mostly fraud cases were insurance companies don’t want to pay). And legally they do not have a point. Maybe morally, but I think the awareness created by the clip had much more impact then the silly AXA advertisement in the papers.

And I decided to look at their website, trying to learn some more about them. Interestingly their site is filled with information that can help thieves. Take for instance their excellent study (PDF) on bike lock security. Assisted by the Technical University in Delft, they studied a more destructive way of opening locks: using special pliers used to cut concrete reinforcement elements (dutch: betonschaar). Potential thieves are advised what locks to avoid (including images of locks), and how to use the cutting tool properly (Use 65 Rockwell blades and let one of the cutters arms rest on the ground to increase impact). Maybe it is time to arrest the people from technical university Delft now …

Anyway, good luck to them trying to sue Kassa for warning the public on prime time television ….

Update: Volkskrant reporter Michiel Haighton went to Amsterdam Central station to try his luck (video) …. and guess who he met there ?!?

To be continued for sure …

4 Responses to “Axa bike locks in the media”

  1. … … I think I woke my neighbour for laughing so hard at that bicycle-groups claims 😛

    Although AXA didn’t do such a radical action as Kryptonite did when a flaw was found, at least they did an action and that is good and I give props to them.

  2. niels says:

    Bwahahah hilarious claim from the Fietsersbond. I assume those people can think and speak, and are able to understand that “covering up” will not really help. Classic argument. If you need help; let me know.

  3. matz says:

    The german office of AXA-Basta (1) wrote me, that all locks with a keynumber starting with a 3 are not affected (2).
    Can you confirm this?

    (2) “Nach Rücksprache mit unserer Fertigung in Holland können wir Ihnen jetzt mitteilen, dass alle Schlüsselnummern beginnend mit einer 3 nicht betroffen sind.”

  4. raimundo says:

    Why would a thief want to learn to steal bikes on this site, when he could make much more money by simply typeing in “shoplifting” in wikipedia and get a course on many scams. ( I was reading about terry prachett on wiki when I found the link to ‘shoplifting’