Replacing car keys is a total RIP OFF!

My mum needs to replace her car key.
Actually, the key is fine, but the plastic housing that includes the buttons to open the boot and lock/unlock the doors have degraded to the point where the whole catastrophe is now held together with a lick and a promise and a thick rubber band.

The cost of replacing this key?
Well, we are awaiting a quote. As if we have a choice. But it is not unusual for the replacement cost to be between $200—$800 AUD.
Plus cost of “instalation”.

But you already know this.
You already know what a total rip-off it is to replace a key that would cost a couple of dollars to cut at your local locksmith. The electronic remote component is worth only a few dollars more.

The problem is that today most car keys (be they old school insert and turn, or ‘remote keyless’ fobs) are linked to the car’s computer via a unique PIN code.

These codes are not (as they should be) provided to the owner when you buy the car. Neither are they easily available to locksmiths, so they can provide cheap and convenient service to those who find themselves suddenly without their car keys in a hundred likely scenarios.

Instead, they are held by the dealers, or so it seems, kept in some exotic undisclosed overseas location… in a secret vault buried deep underground in impenetrable bunkers surrounded by razor-wire, and patrolled by robotic German Shepard attack dogs.

The manufacturer of your car is ABSOLUTELY aware that your key(s) will get lost or malfunction or simply wear out over the years. And yet, they continue to charge these ridiculous fees to resolve a problem that in reality should cost orders of magnitude less.

In 2014, the Australian government called for a code of conduct to be established between automotive repairers and manufacturers (source) enabling the former to easily access repair information (ie codes).

The car industry walked away from negotiations, promising to develop its own voluntary code of conduct. That was in 2014…have they stood down the robotic attack dogs?

My mum awaits the quote for her replacement keys.

Update: apparently, there are services such as this one: Car Key Replacement, that claim to be able to replace most model car keys at a fraction of the manufacturers cost. So my rant may have been for nothing. It felt good though.
I am now awaiting a quote from them for my mums make/model.
Will keep you posted.

2 responses to “Replacing car keys is a total RIP OFF!”

  1. Deirdre Russack Avatar
    Deirdre Russack

    I was quoted nearly $1200 by a dealer for my lost Subaru Forester ‘key’. Luckily it was found. There are after market versions of most keys and ‘methods’ for programming them. Google is your friend on this sort of problem.

    Liked by 1 person

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