Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Do you own a Subaru?

The comments in the article speak volumes about the great divide between the public. No wonder we are tied in knots. Comments range from no big deal, just a mistake and go on with your life, to a crime was committed and the person should be jailed, to it was a set up to get the people out of the house so they could come back and clean the place out. Sheesh.

Who in their life has not gotten in or attempted to get into another person’s car by mistake?? In the era of most cars (especially rentals) all looking the same, we are only sometimes saved by the key combination or lack thereof. Put me on the jury. Hopefully not a jury in the country would convict, but you never know.

Hopefully it is not a zero tolerance kind of thing, you stole a car, you are now a felon.

Interestingly I am no longer a felon for using my BB gun in my back yard. The Minnesota Supreme Court has now ruled that BB guns are no longer firearms. So I’m a free man.

No intent to commit a crime, no crime was committed, I believe. I can’t imagine a prosecutor filing this case.

Happened to me in San Diego, back in 1982. I had rented a brown Toyota Corolla at Lindbergh field, and drove it to one of the hotels in “Hotel Circle”. Next morning, I saw what I believed to be “my” car (same model, same color) in the parking lot, and had trouble with the key in the door.

Taking a closer look at the key tag, I noticed the different plate number listed. The car I had rented was just three spots away. Glad no one was looking!

I had a rental car in Alabama and was with several other people on our team. We went to dinner at the same place but in several different cars. I left dinner, used the key fob to open th door, then attempted to start the car. The key didn’t work, though. After a couple tries, I checked the license plate of the car against the plate number on the car keys. Wrong car. I found my car, same year and colors, and drove back to the hotel. I discovered the next day that the program manager had a car just like mine.

Can definitely happen by accident. On a couple of occasions I’ve seen drivers in parking lots trying to open the door on my Corolla using their key, then discovering after the key didn’t work their similar looking car was parked two spots over.

back in the early 90’s my brother got into what he thought was our 90 Mazda Protoge until he noticed the automatic transmission, just locked the car back up and found ours parked nearby.

Years ago I accidentally opened someone else’s Toyota Pickup with my key. I realized when I looked inside that it wasn’t mine and locked it back up. That was before the days of chips, but while chips have reduced the likelihood of that happening by some factor, there are still only so many possible combinations. There are an estimated 256 million cars registered in the United States. There will be some duplicates.

Back in the day.
it was standard practice to try the keys in our pockets and a collection we kept here when someone lost keys or was locked out .
5 tumbler stations with 5 depths made it quite probable to come up with a match.
For all the millions of Fords produced . . there were only 1863 key codes !

While I have no idea as to the veracity of this claim, I recall that one of my colleagues years ago stated that there were only 10 different keys to the Fiats that were then sold in The US.
I guess that if you are driving a car that few people want, that relative lack of security might not be problematic.

1 Like

My BIL showed me his Jag key today. It was a weird round key that I had never seen before. I don’t know if that was an English or a Ford design.

On Chevy trucks of the 1960’s at least if you jiggled the trial key a little to get it to catch there were probably only about 15 different keys.