The LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System is an aftermarket vehicle tracking system that allows vehicles to be tracked by police after being stolen. The manufacturer claims a 90% recovery rate. The name "LoJack" was coined to be the "antithesis of hijack", meaning the theft of a vehicle through force.
Today, LoJack’s core business comprises the tracking and recovery of cars, trucks, construction equipment, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Additionally, LoJack is expanding into newer, emerging markets through licensing agreements and investments in areas such as cargo security. LoJack Corporation claims that over 200,000 vehicles have been recovered worldwide since the product was introduced more than two decades ago.
If a LoJack unit is activated, every police car within a 2-3 mile radius and equipped with a tracking unit will automatically be alerted that the vehicle is near.
The company’s systems are operable in 26 US states and in the District of Columbia, and more than 30 countries. LoJack operates in areas of the country with the greatest population and density, highest number of new vehicle sales, and highest incidence of vehicle theft.
The technology uses radio frequency (RF) as opposed to GPS. This allows police to recover vehicles when they are hidden in garages and other dense areas. It also can be upgraded to alert the owner of a vehicle if the car is moved or started, via LoJack Early Warning.
LoJack installs special police tracking computers (PTCs) in law enforcement vehicles, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The PTCs coverage capability ranges from 12-20 square miles (ground) to 75-120 miles (aircraft). The company's software and databases are directly integrated into each state's crime computers, providing a connection to law enforcement.
LoJack transmits on a radio frequency of 173.075 MHz. Vehicles with the system installed send a 200 ms chirp every ten seconds on this frequency. When being tracked after reported stolen, the devices send out a 200 ms signal once a second. The radio frequency transmitted by LoJack is near the VHF spectrum band used by television channel 7 in North America, although there is minimal interference due to the low power of radiation, brief chirp duration, and long interval between chirps.
The suggested retail price for the flagship system is $695, but it has no monthly fee.
Also, not all police departments are equipped with LoJack receivers. If a vehicle with LoJack is driven to a location where the police do not have LoJack receivers, the system is effectively useless until it moves into a LoJack-participating county.
The LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System is not transferable from one vehicle to another as the serial number on the LoJack Unit is registered to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a customer's vehicle. If a customer buys a pre-owned vehicle and it's suspected that the car, motorcycle or truck already has a LoJack Recovery System, it is recommended that they confirm the system has been installed by calling LoJack and scheduling an inspection.
The manufacturing company is also called LoJack . On the second half of 2008 it may see its share price reduced due to a slowdown on car sales.