One Car Key, Master Key, Valet Key

I bought a used 2005 Honda Accord. The dealer gave me one key.

I asked for another, they said I can pay $150 for another Master or $75 for the Valet key. I declined. In the owners manual I found that the car originally came with two Master keys, 1 Valet and one Key Number Tag. The Trunk is also "permanently locked by the Master key inside so I can never use that lever to open the trunk from inside the car. Also, is it legal for a car dealer to sell a vehicle with only one key? An auto-body shop guy I talked to didn’t think so and thought the dealer should have gotten me another at their expense if they didn’t have one.

What can you tell me about this?

I don’t think that dealers are obligated to do anything except hide their horns while talking to the public. These prices may be normal, but seem a bit ridiculous. Twice as much for the ‘master’ as the valet key? I’m sure that creating both keys costs the same. (probably less than $10)

Perhaps a local locksmith could help? If I found a cheaper alternative, I’d probably be annoyed enough to go back to the dealer and mention loudly to the service rep in front of a ton of customers. “Oh, by the way, I found a replacement key for about 1/3 of what you were going to charge me. Thanks. And thanks for making sure that I’ll be getting my car serviced elsewhere”

The Trunk is also "permanently locked by the Master key inside so I can never use that lever to open the trunk from inside the car.

? ? ? ?

I’ve argued this point to death in the past.

Vehicles come with two keys, new or used. Anything less is just shady business on the part of the dealer. An ethical question not a leagal one.
Knowing this, if you only get one key and don’t go through the process of getting more reprogrammed…THERE IS STILL ANOTHER KEY OUT THERE THAT WILL START YOUR CAR ! Does the previous owner still have it ? The dealer ? Who, then, could walk up to your car and take it?

All any dealer needs to do is write the expense into the sale price of the car. BAM, case solved.
Once the reprogramming process is completed ( 2 key or 6 ) all pre-existing keys are de-programmed and will not start the car.

The owner’s manual tells you that this is the case. The vehicle’s computer knows this. With Fords it proves ownership to the computer and with 2 keys that work, YOU can program your own additional keys #3,4,5,& 6.

Any dealer that weasels his way into selling you a car with only one key is ETHICALLY incorrect but not legally incorrect.

It can be a major security issue , although it’s usually just a money issue; a “we don’t give a crap enough to go get it done” issue; or they’ve saved one back for the repo man.

( in this small town, Gallup NM, we have our local used car lots trained about the 2 key issue. They bring it to the appropriate dealer to program two keys then write it into the base cost of prepping the vehicle for their lot. )

It’s a used car. The dealer is probably giving you all the keys that came with the car. They are NOT obligated to give you any more then that. It’s like anything else on the car…it can be negotiated into the price. You could have refused to buy the car if they didn’t provide you with 2 keys. That’s well within your right.

The cost difference is because the valet key probably has no battery/electronics. The $150 isn’t surprising, call other dealers see if you can get it for less.

If you have 1 master key, you should be able to unlock the trunk release lever w it. It is only the valet key that can not do that.

Based on the prices you have quoted, I am guessing there is a computer chip in the key that must be programmed.

The time to resolve this issue was before you took the car off the lot. If they said to me that I “can pay $150 for another Master or $75 for the Valet key,” I would have answered, “Neither! The deal is off!” Then I would have headed for the nearest exit. In situations like this, you need to take control. When the sales staff has control of the situation, it is easier for them to take advantage of you as they have done.

Now your choices are to pay for another key or live with one key. If you lose the only key, you might end up having to pay a lot more to get one made than if you have one from which they can make a copy. If you share use of this car with someone else, go ahead and pay to get two new keys (from a dealership other than the one where you purchased the car, or a locksmith). If you are the only user of this car, just get one spare key made. If you lose a key later, you will be grateful to have a spare.

Check the owner’s manual to see if there is a way to unlock the trunk lever. I am pretty sure there is. Please don’t tell me they didn’t include the owner’s manual!

Obligated ?? Maybe not, but who the heck does business this way ?
—Obviously there are MANY or this subject wouldn’t keep recurring.

‘because they got the car that way’ is simply a complete cop-out excuse. EXACTLY the same as never prepping the car for re-sale and selling it to a customer with ; no jack; no lug wrench; no spare; one headlight out; missing door handle; etc.
Then claiming an ‘as is’ sale because they ‘got it that way’ ???

They only do it because they repeatedly get away with it.
Youall are just enabling and re-enforcing the bad rep that used car dealers get.

But that can change.

The more knowlegeable customers call their bluff on the key issue, the more they will routinely add that to the used car preparation check list giving the average joe a working, servicable used car product.

You can change an entire market area by putting your ( customers, dealers, repair shops ) collective foot down. Dealers soon realize they either do it as initial product prep, or end up paying a list price repair bill after the sale. ( we, the Ford dealer, have a wholesale price deal with our local joe-schmoe used car lots. )

The Honda Accord was sold new with 3 keys. Two spares,and a valet key. The dealer knew that,or should have.
Pretty chintzy dealer that wont get my business anymore,including servicing

Well, I actually was unable to unlock that lever inside (on the floor near the drivers seat, next to the fuel door lever) but it happens to be broke. The remote for the trunk won’t even open the trunk.
You can only get the trunk open the old fashioned way, insert key, turn key.
So it’s back to the dealer for this one.
However…the issue of Master Key, Valet Key and Key Tag still exists. Thank you.

You’re right of course. I did that. Thanks!

A used car dealer is not required to tell you how much keys might cost, unless they are selling them to you. They do not need to give you what a NEW car dealer must supply…lucky if there is a working engine under the hood. They can give you a screwdriver to start it.

Generally, the only requirements are state mandates, on things like emission stickers… and even then, it can be sketchie.

Amazes me people think a car dealer is legally bound to do just the opposite of what car dealers do!

If by MASTER, you actually mean the key with the remote keyless entry, then yes, it costs way more than a non remote one.

But unlike the dealer, a locksmith can provide a MASTER ( fits trunk, glove, seatback and valet lockout cylinders as well as starts car ) that does not have the remote keyeless entry.

The key still needs to be programmed to the car, which a competent locksmith will also be able to do.

Beware of CLONEABLE keys that have a battery in them. They have been introduced for making chip keys easier to do, but they have problems, partly due to the use of a battery and a circuit that mimics the RFID chip of a correct key… too many failures, plus the key will spontaneously stop working… unpredictable if it will be sooner or later at the end of battery life.

Avoid fake keys… they cost ALMOST as much as a the real ones.

We charge 75.00 for the first key ( MASTER ) plus a single scan tool programming fee of 50.00-100.00, and 50.00 for each key thereafter.

The EARLIER Hondas used a key that could be cloned on a true RFID type key, but the new encrypted version on the 2005 can not.

I would give my website and such out, but was advised that is not allowed on this forum.

Jeffrey Rosen, Colorado

Since many car keys can be CLONED, the only way a used car is safe from former owner taking it, is to make all fresh new keys, and program them into the car…

If 4 of the 5 keys are all read by car as being the same, ERASING and reprogrammign remaining and new keys in, can STILL result in keys out there.

So, it would take all new keys, PLUS delete and reprogram car to the new keys to make things truly fresh.

Cars rarely wind up back in same State, let alone same town.

IF buyer wants to rekey the car, that is his expense.

If dealer is to be REQUIRED to do anything, I would like to see a drivetrain and safety warranty of 120 days on all used cars.

Ethics are not the issue, as much as a need for consumer to be educated in car buying, and use an independent mechanic to analyze the cars systems, fluids etc, to screen out not so obvious problems that are deeper than a seller will go.

Usually a detailing is about all cars get, and a pine tree.