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Replacement car key: This can't be right?

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  • Replacement car key: This can't be right?

    Someone please tell me that this can't be true. Tell me there is supposed to be some kind of legal check in place to prevent this. Okay, here's what happened to me recently.
    I went to a shop to have my tires rotated & balanced. I left them my car key and said I'd be back to pick it up. When I came back to pickup my car the guy told me they could not find my key. So it turns out they lost my key before they did the work. Luckily, my wife was with me and she had her key with her. They said I should go to a dealer and have a replacement key made and bring in the receipt for reimbursement. I was irritated but what choice did I have. So here's the kicker. I called the dealer's parts department to order a new key. The parts guy told me all he needed was my VIN # and he would order the key and mail it to me when it came in (since I live an hour away from the dealer). No photo id or legal proof of ownership was required! They had no idea who I am! I could have read the VIN off a car in a parking lot! How can this be possible? I mean I do appreciate the convenience to me, but it cannot be that easy to get a car key, can it? Tell me some required ID was overlooked?

  • #2
    You actually get a more accurate cut for a key off the VIN. The dealer's/locksmiths are supposed to verify the registration and ID before giving you the key, but... I think Dateline or some other news show did an investigative piece on this a while back, I think only about half or so of the locksmiths/dealers verified ID and reg.

    So no, it's not right, but it happens.
    "there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

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    • #3
      MOST dealers I know require a PHOTO ID and some proof with your name on itthat it's your car like copy of title or regisatrtion or bill of sale. The names have to match or no key.

      Now here is the kicker most cars built after say 98 have to have the key programmed to the car by the dealer because of a computer chip in the key so most often a new key is of no use to anayone. Ford, GM, Toyota, almost all brands have a chip in the key someplace. That's why keys are so costly.

      If you have an older car they keys is probably about $5.00 newer upwards of a couple of hundred depending on make. If the key is cheapie you could have just went to Lowe's or anypalce that cuts keys and they could have copied a new one off the one you still have and you did not need to call the dealer.

      Many licensed locksmiths can copy and program keys too if they are the more expensive type.

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      • #4
        Thank you both for your reply. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised, but this is a pretty reputable dealer and the whole transaction took place over the phone. No ID's.

        Bodie, you may be right about the chip in the key. The dealer did tell me I would have to bring all my keys in to get the new one programed. This was for a 1999 vehicle where the key and remote are one unit. I was going to go into the dealer, but after only 15 minutes on the internet I had the procedure to program the key myself. So I did. And it works just fine. So, in my case, there dosen't appear to be anything special for the dealer to do to make the key work.

        Well, anyway, just thought I'd check with you guys to see what the legal perspective is.

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        • #5
          Yes there was He had to charge you $200 to "program" the key. That was what the dealer would have done that was special.

          For that dealer to sell a key to somebody by phone is highly WRONG.
          and the dealership general manager should be told that maybe that isn't a cool idea.

          Comment


          • #6
            Not a LEO

            Originally posted by Klausbird
            The dealer did tell me I would have to bring all my keys in to get the new one programed. This was for a 1999 vehicle where the key and remote are one unit. I was going to go into the dealer, but after only 15 minutes on the internet I had the procedure to program the key myself. So I did. And it works just fine. So, in my case, there dosen't appear to be anything special for the dealer to do to make the key work.
            Its all done thru the ignition on most cars. I work for a performance and audio shop and we install remote starters on car as one of our services. You need extra parts for the starter to work, and it needs a key for it. It is very easy to program the keys, and as a matter of fact, Bodie, as you said they are anywhere from $75 for the key, cut and programmed to about $225, depending on your vehicle. We just buy the keys blank for about $20 and sell them for about $35 and program them ourselves. Saves the customer some $$$. We found that the dealer BANGS you over the head about 600%+ for them. The shady thing about the key thing, is the company is called Howard Keys, they wholesale them and I believe anyone can buy the keys. So I guess technically a thief could buy one outside the dealer, and if he were to get your key by chance, or work for a car tech place where he'd have access to them, he could copy it and program it in about 2 minutes and your buggy is gone tomorrow night. Get an alarm with a 2 way pager on it in case the clown that "lost" your key doesnt have it and is waiting for the opportunity to boost your buggy. Ive seen it happen like that before

            PittsburghKid
            Im guessing you have a Ford or Chrysler or a Toyota if you programmed the key yourself?!
            Reputation is the cornerstone of power

            Rest in Peace: Officer David "Hazel" Pugh; Neville Island Police Department; I'll miss you friend

            PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY POLICE
            Written - Passed
            Physical test - Passed
            Background Investigation - Finished
            Oral Board - Passed
            Polygraph - Passed
            Chief's Decision - Pending
            Medical Exam - Pending Chief's Decision
            Psycological Exam - Pending Chief's Decision

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for your reply, Pittsburghkid.

              BTW: Audi

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              • #8
                AUDI / VW Keys are a big rip off from dealer. They picture themselves as luxury cars and expect their customers to pay up

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Klausbird
                  Thanks for your reply, Pittsburghkid.

                  BTW: Audi
                  The one I didn't think of, go figure
                  Reputation is the cornerstone of power

                  Rest in Peace: Officer David "Hazel" Pugh; Neville Island Police Department; I'll miss you friend

                  PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY POLICE
                  Written - Passed
                  Physical test - Passed
                  Background Investigation - Finished
                  Oral Board - Passed
                  Polygraph - Passed
                  Chief's Decision - Pending
                  Medical Exam - Pending Chief's Decision
                  Psycological Exam - Pending Chief's Decision

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    well, crap, i cant tell you the last time that i was id'd when writing a check or using my debit card, why should this be any different,, crap, the car dealer isnt out any $, like a retailer who accepts a forged check,

                    Comment

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