Wednesday, October 08, 2008

MyKey: A Good Idea?

Ford is introducing a new key technology that will let parents keep closer tabs on their teen-age drivers. Maybe this is a good idea, maybe it isn't. In part it depends on at what cost?

Last year when my old Mercedes died at 300,000 mi., I bought a used 2003 Acura TL. It came with two ignition keys and remotes. The Mercedes used only a key. Locking the driver's door locked the entire car: all the doors, the trunk, and the gas filler door. It was very convenient. The car was either locked or unlocked. When unlocked, I could open the gas door or the trunk without a key.

With the Acura, things are different. I use the remote to lock the car, which is very convenient, but unlocking is more complicated. One push on the remote unlocks the driver's door, but if I have a passenger or need to put something in the back seat, I invariably have to take the remote out of my pocket to press the unlock button again to unlock those doors. If I need to put something in the trunk or fill with gas, again I must retrieve the remote and unlock those. Inconvenient.

This past week I've lost contact with my keys and am using the spare set, but I'm thinking I need to get a another set just in case .... I called the dealership to check on getting another set, and it's no problem. Just bring by proof I own the car and they can fix me right up. The only downside is that the ignition key is $25 or so, and the service department charges $40 to program it. Oh, and if I want the remote, it's only $101 more. Looks like the days when I could go over to Daryl Chambers hardware store and get a duplicate key for a buck or two are long gone.

I know this new key technology is a theft deterrent, but is it progress?

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