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Old 11-11-2007, 10:35 PM   #1
Mr. Wyndham
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Can YOUR key, open MY car?!?!

Aparently, it might be able to...
Thought this might be rather interesting, and informative to most of us.

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General Motors Keys Open More Than One Vehicle

Across the ABC 13 Viewing Area - Each holiday season we tell you this -- DON'T leave valuables, gifts, anything in your car because you make yourself the perfect victim. But is that sinking in? Maybe not, because each holiday season it happens.

So maybe this will open your eyes. We found another way for a thief to break-in and it's as simple as the turn of a key. A jiggle here, a wiggle there, and one right after the other, a car key thatdoesn'tbelong to the vehicle we're unlocking -- works.

Hawkins - "It looks different, but then you slide it back."

Courtney - "It looks pretty similar."

Hawkins - "Right."

And we're not talking about every car key -- just General Motors keys. Many have similar cuts.

Hawkins - "I didn't think it was that possible. It just happens you have keys that are pretty close to 'em."

Who better to see this in action than a locksmith? It just so happens John Hawkins has a Chevy Astro Van, and we have the keys to a Chevy Blazer. Two different cars and two different keys... but….

Courtney - "Gotcha."

We got in.

Hawkins - "Basically you've used this key just to pick that lock."

Surely we figured it wouldn’t work on every GM, so we hit the lot of Seven Hills Auto Sales. We tried three, and didn't get in.

Whitaker - "There you go. Laughs Those things happen."

But the fourth was a charm.

Whitaker - "Just the turn of a key, that's all it takes."

And unfortunately it's true.

Dave Mann - "There you go! Oh gosh. That's crazy! That's the key to the Tahoe?"

Hawkins - "I would say the possibility of what you're doing would be greater on GM than any other car."

Courtney - "Why is that?"

Hawkins - "Because the door doesn't have but the five tumblers in it."

And the more tumblers, which are the parts your key has to match with the lock, the safer your car is.

General Motors gave us a statement saying they take security and this complaint seriously, but they go onto say they believe this is a law enforcement issue, not a product-related issue.

So we talked to Lynchburg Police. They say while a key might not sounds alarms like smashing a window, they're both illegal.

Carey - "If you're trying to get into a car that is not yours even though a key might unlock the door you will be arrested."

They say the best chance you have of protecting your vehicle is taking out your valuables, and locking up as much as you can. A similarly cut key that might unlock the door -- WILL NOT start the vehicle. Our locksmith says that's because there are many more tumblers in the ignition than the door. He says even replacing current locks with new ones wouldn't really help. In fact, he suggested a car alarm.
Granted Pass-Key might give the thief some grief, but still - this is kinda wierd.

EDIT: I really didn't mean to rhyme like that :p
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:50 PM   #2
z28camaro2471
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Granted it's almost 20 years ago now, but I used to be able to start my 1972 Chevelle without a key. All I had to do was work the ignition back and forth for about a minute and eventually forward it would go.
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:56 PM   #3
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I remember that my sister in law had a Chevette when her and my brother were still dating. It never needed a key. It was also rusted, ran on 1 cylinder for a while, had miss-matched body pannels . . . for some reason nobody ever tried to steal it
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:17 AM   #4
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The people doing the article clearly didn't do their research. They state this is only an issue with GM cars, and that is patently wrong. It came out about 3 years or so ago that Toyota had the exact same problem. This problem is real, but stating it is only a GM thing is complete
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:21 AM   #5
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In fact, I really think someone needs to call in asking for a correction or retraction. Seriously that was a mindless jab at GM and obviously involved no research at all. Most auto manufacturers have keys with similar or repeated cuts. There are only so many dramatically different combinations you can make.
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:30 AM   #6
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I have a key that will open ANY car door!



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Old 11-12-2007, 07:38 AM   #7
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i got drunk one time back in IL and someone tried to take my keys to borrow my car and drive home (key note, no one drives my car but me) so I chucked them into a field. the next morning I woke up, couldnt find my keys so I took a thin screwdriver and popped it into the ignition, she turned right over. I never needed keys again. lol (I did install a starter kill switch for safety, something I recommend to all of you)
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:12 AM   #8
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i work at a chevy/cadillac dealer and yes, 1 vehicle key may open several doors on different vehicles

i tried it one day on silverado's and 1 key opened 3 out of the 10 that i tried
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:22 AM   #9
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My parents used to have an 82 Monte Carlo and mom and I came out of a store one day and got into someone else's Monte....the door key worked...we didn't getto check the ignition because we figured out it wasn't our car.

Same Monte Carlo was the one that I started driving. One day at work (at a Chevy dealer nonetheless), we had to move a bunch of employee cars for some construction work that was going to be done on that side of the lot. One of my buddies was out of town delivering parts. I knew he had had some of the issues mentioned above (fiddle with the ignition for a minute and you can start it) on his '71 Camaro, so I thought I'd "break into" his car and move it for him. I used a coat hanger, got the door open, then couldn't get the ignition to "work". Jokingly, I took my Monte's key out, put it in, and it started right up.

This is actually no different than the key fob issue. Working on the car lots, we've actually found a couple times where a keyless entry will open more than one car. It used to be more common, but every now and then, you can find a garage door opener that opens more than one door as well. There are only so many codes that can be used or only so many "key combinations" that can be made.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:37 AM   #10
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My grandpa had the same issue with his VW. A nearly identical one parked a few spaces away from him, and when he came back to get into his car he used his key and got into the wrong one. It wasn't until he realized the stuff inside of it wasn't his that he realized that he got into the wrong one.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:10 PM   #11
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I read in Car and Driver about 3 years ago or so about this guy who wrote to the magazine entailing this very subject.

He drove a Chevy Venture (the crappy minivan GM use to make) and was in a mall parking lot. He thought he saw his minivan and used the remote key less entry to open it which it did and got in.
Just as he was about to start the car he noticed the items inside wasn't his.
So he wrote to C&D who contacted Chevy and said that the possibility of that happening is around 1 in 100,000,000.
The odds of winning the Power Ball or Mega Millions jack pot is around 1 in 78,000,000!!
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stovt001 View Post
The people doing the article clearly didn't do their research. They state this is only an issue with GM cars, and that is patently wrong. It came out about 3 years or so ago that Toyota had the exact same problem. This problem is real, but stating it is only a GM thing is complete
agreed... contradictory to what the article says, the Hondas and Toyotas are just as bad, if not worse... dont know about the other manufacturers, but I know for a fact that the Toyotas and Hondas have a problem... I've actually started a Camry with a key to a Corolla before... and these were the keys that "supposedly" had the transponders in them... so I say "whatever" to this article.
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