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Duchess Jack

$1000 for a new set of car keys?

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I lost my key's in Atlantic City.

 

Because my key has a little computer chip in it - a replacement set will cost around $1000 (because they will need to reprogram something in the dash)

 

Is there any way around this? I am losing my mind here!!

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Replacing car keys is no longer quick or cheap

In many cases, only a dealer can help you out

By Bruce Mohl, Globe Staff | May 20, 2007

 

Car keys have come a long way, and so have their prices.

 

The simple metal key that could be copied at a hardware store is quickly vanishing. Taking its place are electronic gadgets that combine metal keys with computer chips that must deliver a code to the car's on board systems before it can start. Some cars, including some Mercedes-Benz models and the Toyota Prius, have dispensed with the jagged-edge metal key entirely in favor of an electronic fob.

 

"It's a good thing. The technology prevents car thieves from stealing the car, but the downside is that the key is expensive," said David Williams , executive vice president of the Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association.

 

Dealers are charging anywhere from $80 to $350 to replace car keys these days, depending on the make and model of the car and the number of bells and whistles on the key or the key fob. Locksmiths tend to charge less, but they often don't have the codes or software needed to make duplicates for certain car models.

 

"There are some you can get, but there are some you can't get," said Ann Maestranzi , one of the owners of Charles W. Benton Co., a Boston locksmith. "When you can't, the dealers have a field day."

 

The Center for Auto Safety, a consumer group in Washington, D.C., conducted a survey last year covering 50 car models and found that the average price of a "smart key with an embedded computer chip" was more than $150, 12 times the typical dealer price for a mechanical key.

 

Clarence M. Ditlow , executive director of the center, said some key systems contain unique identifier numbers that must be read by an electronic control unit in the vehicle. Others use an identifier number plus a rolling code that changes every time the key is used.

 

Ditlow said some car manufacturers have created a limited monopoly for their keys by not sharing the codes with independent shops. He petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to investigate fees charged by dealerships last year, but said he has received no response from the agency. The FTC declined to comment.

 

California last year passed a law requiring most car manufacturers to provide their key codes to licensed locksmiths. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2008. It was sponsored by the American Automobile Association and opposed by many luxury car makers, who said it could compromise vehicle security. The law exempts a handful of manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Jaguar, until 2013.

 

Officials at Toyota Motor Corp. said their key codes are available to most locksmiths. The officials said the high cost of replacement keys is largely a function of the technology contained in them. They noted the average cost of a replacement key for a Prius is about $300.The Prius system is based on technology that industry officials say was pioneered by Mercedes-Benz. The fob communicates automatically with the Prius's systems via radio waves once the owner is close to the car. The owner doesn't have to do anything to unlock the car or ignition system; the fobs work even while inside a pocket or pocketbook. A local Mercedes dealership quoted a price of $286 for this kind of replacement fob, which the company calls "keyless go" technology.

 

The Globe surveyed local auto dealerships for replacement key prices. Most quoted separate prices for the key and for programming it. Many said a service appointment was required and that it would take about an hour to replace the key. Several dealerships, including a Mercedes dealer, said customers need to produce a car registration and driver's license to get a replacement key.

 

Car owners who need another key should check prices at a dealership and at locksmiths to see if they can make the key for less.

 

Patty Maestranzi-Fisher , owner of Broadway Lock in South Boston, said many keys can be programmed quickly if the car owner has the original set in hand. Without those original keys, she said, the cost can run into the hundreds of dollars.

 

Joyelle Parent , a locksmith at Lowell Lock & Key, said she can duplicate most, but not all, keys. She said expensive equipment is often needed to duplicate the more advanced keys, and it's not worth purchasing if her volume of business isn't sufficient.

 

Parent estimated she could make a Ford Explorer key for about $50 to $55. Quirk Ford estimated the same key would cost $85.

 

John Paul , known as the car doctor at the American Automobile Association of Southern New England, said it cost him $4 to make a replacement key for his 4-year-old Kia Sorrento. He said he wasn't so lucky when he needed a replacement key for his wife's 7-year-old Volkswagen. That key cost $100.

 

"Losing a set of keys can turn into a pretty expensive arrangement," Paul said.

 

 

 

You should check with local locksmiths to see if your car model is monopolized.

 

What car do you drive?

 

eta : article instead of link

Edited by Codwagon

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I lost my key's in Atlantic City.

 

Because my key has a little computer chip in it - a replacement set will cost around $1000 (because they will need to reprogram something in the dash)

 

Is there any way around this? I am losing my mind here!!

 

 

 

I suggest that you go back to the dealer you bought the car from, find the closet place for public access and get a big sign that says "Be sure and ask (car dealer name) why a new set of car keys cost $1,000", I am thinking the price will drop pretty quick (wear a kilt, and you will get more press)

Edited by rbmcdonald

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I was unable to read the second page of the article. What sucks is that I left them at the hotel... they said they'd send them to me... and now nobody knows anything about it.

Edited by Duchess Jack

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I suggest that you go back to the dealer you bought the car from, find the closet place for public access and get a big sign that says "Be sure and ask "car dealer name" why a new set of car keys cost $1,000", I am thinking the price will drop pretty quick (where a kilt, and you will get more press)

 

 

:D

 

I'll have to wear a tartan of a really pissed off clan

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thanks for the suggestions, H8.

 

The biggest issue is that they need to put a new computer in the dash. Car is flippin' two years old.

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thanks for the suggestions, H8.

 

The biggest issue is that they need to put a new computer in the dash. Car is flippin' two years old.

 

 

 

This just does not seem right.

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:D

 

I'll have to wear a tartan of a really pissed off clan

 

 

 

Clan...........................................Motto

 

 

 

Barclay “Either action or death”

 

MacDougall “To conquer or die”

 

 

MacBean “Touch not the cat without the shield” (apparently this clans has a STD problem)

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It wasnt to that extreme but a new set cost me and the wife 350 dollars for the same reason..Its just insanity. :D

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It wasnt to that extreme but a new set cost me and the wife 350 dollars for the same reason..Its just insanity. :D

 

 

I asked Honda when we bought the car and that's what they said also.

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Sounds like you need an insurance scam... don't you have some friends of questionable repute that could "steal" the car for you? :D

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Alright...

 

Saturday - Bachelor party craziness.

 

Sunday... on the way home I realized that I lost my keys and badge.. called the hotel and they found them... said that they would send them to me.

 

This morning... I am losing my mind. My car has been at work this whole time in a long term parking space. Keys should have been here. So I call the Howard Johnson and nobody knows what I am talking about. I talk to like 5 people, nothing.

 

Called Toyota... $1000

 

Talked to you cats

 

called another Toyota.... found out 2 keys and programming would cost $250... they might - or might not - need to do the computer... ((additional grand)) - was on forever with the people... like three departments

 

called back with the vin # - found out that mostly like would not the need the computer... I asked what most likely means... ultimately the person made a commitment.... no computer needed. ((le sigh)) but I'd have to get it toed there.

 

called AAA my plan apparently is the burning barrels in the street plan... 3 miles plus $3.50 a mile... so.... $50 - still happy it is not $1000... $300 would had made me blow my lid this morning... but at this point I am thrilled

 

Called my car insurance company to see if they can help. Apparently this is a homeowners insurance issue

 

I call Toyota... the key programming and cutting is put on my credit card. I was going to have it toed there tonight.

 

I decide to give the hotel one last try to try to find out who I spoke to. Too a while, but I narrowed it down to three people. None of which will be in until the weekend.

 

My daughter sprained her ankle today and went home early... the hotel called and they found the keys (and my badge for work). The guy had 3 of the six letters in my last name (castle) messed up...and destroyed my address - but the keys remained in a cash box.

 

So... a manager is sending them out today. I should have them by Saturday. Crisis adverted.

 

I was able to cancel the keys at Toyota

 

Dang.. I need a beer

 

thanks everyone

Edited by Duchess Jack

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Just make sure you don't stub your tow tonite with all the back luck you had today...

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Alright...

 

Saturday - Bachelor party craziness.

 

Sunday... on the way home I realized that I lost my keys and badge.. called the hotel and they found them... said that they would send them to me.

 

This morning... I am losing my mind. My car has been at work this whole time in a long term parking space. Keys should have been here. So I call the Howard Johnson and nobody knows what I am talking about. I talk to like 5 people, nothing.

 

Called Toyota... $1000

 

Talked to you cats

 

called another Toyota.... found out 2 keys and programming would cost $250... they might - or might not - need to do the computer... ((additional grand)) - was on forever with the people... like three departments

 

called back with the vin # - found out that mostly like would not the need the computer... I asked what most likely means... ultimately the person made a commitment.... no computer needed. ((le sigh)) but I'd have to get it toed there.

 

called AAA my plan apparently is the burning barrels in the street plan... 3 miles plus $3.50 a mile... so.... $50 - still happy it is not $1000... $300 would had made me blow my lid this morning... but at this point I am thrilled

 

Called my car insurance company to see if they can help. Apparently this is a homeowners insurance issue

 

I call Toyota... the key programming and cutting is put on my credit card. I was going to have it toed there tonight.

 

I decide to give the hotel one last try to try to find out who I spoke to. Too a while, but I narrowed it down to three people. None of which will be in until the weekend.

 

My daughter sprained her ankle today and went home early... the hotel called and they found the keys (and my badge for work). The guy had 3 of the six letters in my last name (castle) messed up...and destroyed my address - but the keys remained in a cash box.

 

So... a manager is sending them out today. I should have them by Saturday. Crisis adverted.

 

I was able to cancel the keys at Toyota

 

Dang.. I need a beer

 

thanks everyone

 

u need 6 beers

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u need 6 beers

 

 

Hell, make it an even 12 pack. I need to drink a beer after reading this thread. Glad you avoided the big payout.

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Hell, make it an even 12 pack. I need to drink a beer after reading this thread. Glad you avoided the big payout.

 

 

+1

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first step after getting the keys.... 'driving' the car to the dealer and having copies made of the original (that is where the problem came in - no key to copy)

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Oh, by the way, other than the key thing, how do you like the car? I was thinking about trading in the truck(finally) and purchasing a year or two old Corolla. Would save me a ton in gas, but I know I'll miss having a truck. Have you ever had any problems with it?

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never to the shop save for regular upkeep. great milage and has some pickup despite being a four cylinder.

 

Its comfey and has some nice features... my favorate is the automatic headlights...the trunk is a decent size too and the seats drop enough to take 8' boards home and still close the trunk

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Just make sure you don't stub your tow tonite with all the back luck you had today...

 

Snicker.

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