Keyless entry warnings

Posted on November 21st, 2017 by Rob Marshall


It seems that I am not the only person dissatisfied with the current trend for keyless entry systems. I see the technology as having very little relevance, other than to provide extra headaches. While depressing a button on a keyfob to either lock, or unlock, car doors was hardly an inconvenience, now, a lump of plastic has to be kept either inside, or within close proximity, of the vehicle to allow it to be unlocked and started.

Before I am accused of being a total Luddite, the only time that I can see these systems being of any use, is a situation in which your hands are full with children, shopping, et al, and you do not have any free limbs remaining to fumble for the fob. Fine. I get that. Yet, some systems are plain frustrating, at best. At worst, they could cost you your belongings and even your car. Let me explain…

Keyless fobs are easy to lose

Firstly, these little fobs tend not to need plugging into the dashboard, or steering column, unlike a conventional key, to permit the engine to be started. So, where can you put it? The answer is anywhere but, woe betide you, if it becomes lost, which, in my case, it does…frequently.

I have become fed-up of hunting for these inconspicuous black boxes in the dark, when they become lodged beneath seats, or buried between difficult-to-access trim. I have also found them intensely annoying at either not unlocking a passenger door for easy entry, resulting in lots of pulling of the door handle as the driver enters unrestricted, or incarcerating a poor soul, until the driver depresses a button manically to release his prisoner before a lawyer is called. It seems as though the popularity of these fobs is also resulting in a rising number of breakdown call-outs, resulting from the fob itself managing to lock the doors, while it remains inside the car, proving that the system is not as clever as its designers might have thought. Oh, how we suffer for the sake of progress…

Keyless entry – theft and insurance issues

A more worrying issue arises with anti-theft measures. As these little fobs emit a signal for the car to detect, thieves can intercept and copy it to not only unlock the car but also drive it away, should they wish. A colleague discovered this to his cost, when his locked hire car was broken into and a £2,500 laptop was stolen from the boot. Yet, because there was no evidence that neither physical force, nor violent entry, had been used to access the vehicle, his insurance refused to cover his losses.

We understand that the motor industry is reacting to the unique security problems that keyless entry systems are presenting but I wish also that they would develop a better system to banish the annoyances, once and for all.