Dealer Lost Prius Key Fob inside vehicle



I was having trouble with one key fob on my 2010 Prius and took it to the dealer (under warranty) to have it evaluated. The dealer asked me to bring both keys and managed to lose one of the keys in the car. I am fairly convinced that it is inside the car because when I touch the driver’s door handle to lock the car, it reports on the dashboard that there is a key inside the vehicle. The dealer told me that they left both keys on the dashboard yet when I picked up the car there was a single key fob in the cup holder. The other key appears to be missing somewhere inside of the car. I have looked in all of the obvious places, such as along the rails of each seat, center console and anywhere that it could have bounced from the dashboard. Do you know of any creative ways of finding the missing fob?


Is there a way it could have fallen behind the cupoholder?


No, I do not have any ideas. The seat tracks, floor mats, or even the glove box would be my first thought followed by the worst case; they fell inside a dash vent.

That dealer must be the epitome of carelessness if policy is to leave one or both sets of keys in the car. Warranty procedure or not, leaving keys in a car is a no-no.
I wonder what their reaction would have been if you had asked where the entire car was…


How the sun visor?


I’m not familiar with the dash of a Prius, but if they left the keys on it, is it possible that one could have slid down into a defroster vent or other cranny?


The most likely place is the front seat hardware. Work each seat forward and back, up and down, and I bet you will find it. That still says nothing about the dealer’s responsibility.


Forget about the key fob. Just have the dealership issue you two new key fobs and reprogram the Prius to accept them. You may never find the missing one.


Can’t forget about it, he can’t lock the car, and anyone can sit down an drive off. The wonders of modern technology…

Unfortunately, by driving off the OP has made what should have been the dealer’s problem (they lost it, they should find it) his problem.


The dealer can find it or replace it. By your description of events, they are thoughtless, lazy, and couldn’t car less about their customer. Don’t let them off the hook just because they have a lame excuse.


@texases…I guess I didn’t make my solution clear enough. If you reprogram the Prius for another set of keys then the lost key will no longer control the vehicle. It will just become another component of the vehicle but without any control over it. The dealer needs to pay for their mistake.


@missileman - now I get it - that’s the way to go for the OP.


I’m shocked that a dealer would do that, especially since we all know from listening to Car Talk that it’s notoriously easy for things to slip through dashboard vents and be lost forever. How annoying. Definitely sounds like something my dealer would do! (That’s why I have vowed to never go there again.) Completely agree with Missileman’s solution. I am curious as to where you’re located.

I'm shocked that a dealer would do that, especially since we all know from listening to Car Talk that it's notoriously easy for things to slip through dashboard vents and be lost forever.

There are a couple of dealers near me that I wouldn’t be shocked if they did. Total sleaze outfits. I 20 miles past one Nissan dealer to another when I bought my 98 pathfinder. They weren’t going to get one dime of my money.


Yeah you have to find it. I tried locking the trunk of our Acura with my wife’s purse in it and it wouldn’t let me because of her key fob. Really a pain in the neck and I question the wisdom of this feature. How do you secure a purse anymore.

At any rate, a strong trouble light and crawling around on the floor checking under seats and every nook. Check to see if the opening in the defrost vents is wide enough and if so that may be where it is but check all other options first. An inspection mirror might help but you could really use one of those camera inspection scopes to at least check the defrost vents.