I bought a new car at the dealership about a year ago. A perk they offered was some free service. Since buying the car, I have moved hours away. I recently visited the old area and got that free dealership service while I was there.
After service was completed at that dealership, they lost my fob/key stem. I wasn’t stranded because I had my second key/fob on me. The manager said they would continue to look for it. It didn’t turn up after days, so the manager left a voice mail saying that a new key/fob will be ordered.
Should I be more assertive, such as: ask the dealership to re-program the transponder codes, so that the lost key/fob (if found) will no longer disable the alarm, unlock & start my car?
If my car happens to be stolen in the future, my insurance company might ask if all keys are still in my possession. However, records will show that a replacement key was ordered and codes were not changed. Insurance claim could be denied for that reason.
JUNE 27TH UPDATE: No key received yet. I called today, but Service Manager is now on vacation for next eleven days. So I faxed the service receipt (which documented the lost key) to dealership in care of the General Manager. I noted that I live a full day’s drive away and requested the key to be mailed. He called me to say he would look into it. The Dealership Manager contacted the Service Manager on his vacation to find out if a key had been ordered. Service Manager replied to him that he had been giving it some time to see if the key would turn up first. The Dealership Manager called me later to say that he will have his Parts Department order a key from the manufacturer today and then he will have his secretary mail the key to me. Even got an e-mail from the secretary confirming my address.
One foreseeable problem I haven’t yet brought up to the Dealership Manager: I have a feeling I am going to receive a ‘dud’ key that will fit into the ignition but not by-pass the immobilizer. To activate the key, I believe the car has to be present in the service department for them to program the code directly into the car’s computer. I am hoping the manufacturer will program the key based on the same original code as the car (should be a record of that with the manufacturer’s computer system), but somehow I doubt it will happen. They probably don’t want to be responsible for mailing a working key that gets stolen in the mail.
I thought about alerting the General Manager about this. But he could hold off the order and tell me to wait until next summer when I can drive the car all the way back to get the key programmed there. I’d rather have the key/fob in hand, since it costs about $200 for a spare. Then I will call to say it doesn’t work. That way I can negotiate to have that faraway dealership pay my local dealership to program it for them. Normally it’s like $150 to program it.