By Paul Revel
VILLAGERS say they are being plagued by a mystery interference which is playing havoc with their cars.
Meopham residents say their lives have been disrupted for two weeks by the strange happening.
They have seen their cars' remote-controlled locking systems go berserk meaning many motorists have been locked out of their own vehicles.
And to add to their fury, the cars' alarms are going off day and night apparently for no reason.
Former maintenance engineer John Broad, 67, said: "We want to get to the bottom of this. Whoever is responsible should sort it out. People are very concerned.
"One bloke even had his car towed away to the dealership for diagnostics but they couldn't find anything wrong with it."
Father-of-two Mr Broad has been having trouble with his Nissan Almeria but the mysterious electronic gremlins are striking a range of cars including Toyotas, Volkswagens and Land Rovers.
He added: "One chap goes to work at 5am and when he's having problems his car's loud alarm wakes up the whole street."
Villagers suspected the Vodafone mast at Meopham train station but the company has said there is no way it is responsible.
News Shopper has reported in the past how motorists have been locked out of their cars because of phone mast interference.
Normally upgraded 3G masts, which allow people to send pictures and videos via their mobiles, are to blame.
In one case, car manufacturer Subaru confirmed its cars can be affected by radiation from masts.
But Vodafone says the Meopham station mast has been operating for many years and there have been no recent alterations or upgrades.
A spokesman said it was highly unlikely the phone mast was affecting the car alarms.
She explained the phone network operated between 900 and 2,100 megahertz which is far removed from the key-fob remote controls for cars, which operate at around 300 megahertz.
She added more likely causes could be radio transmissions from ambulances and police cars, or even amateur radio hams' operating in the area.
Mr Broad said: "It's mystifying.We are at the end of our tether. If any readers can give us a clue as to why this is happening we want to hear from them."
Can you solve the mystery of the dysfunctional car alarms? Call 01689 885725 or email prevel @london.newsquest.co.uk
10:44am Wednesday 27th April 2005
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