Do you value your car? Think about this.

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Imported, May 4, 2003.

  1. Imported

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    Finedessert: FYI

    Apparently car thieves have yet again found a way around the system and steal your car or truck without any effort at all.

    The car thieves peer through the windshield of your car or truck, write down the VIN number from the label on the dash, go into the local dealership for that car brand and request a duplicate key for it from the VIN number.

    Car dealerships make up a duplicate key from the VIN number, collect payment from the 'customer' who's really a would-be car thief for making up the duplicate key -- the car thief goes back to your vehicle, inserts the key they've just gotten and off they drive with your car or truck.

    They don't have to break in, don't have to damage the vehicle and draw no attention to themselves as all they have to do is to walk up to your car, insert the key and off they go to their chop shop with your vehicle!!!

    Can you believe it?

    To avoid this from happening to you, simply put opaque tape (like a strip of electrical tape, duct tape or medical tape) across the VIN label located on the dash board. You can't remove the VIN number legally under most state laws, so cover it so that it can't be viewed through the windshield by a car thief.

    Anyway, feel free to forward this on before some other car thief steals another car or truck like this.

    Unbelievable!

    Grandpa
     
  2. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    Thanks for the tip, Grandpa, but if they really want to steal my piece of shit Pinto, they have worse problems than I can imagine!
     
  3. Imported

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    aussiechick63: Just when you think you have outsmarted car thieves the little bastards come up with new ways to steal your car.
     
  4. ericbear

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    In California, at least, obscuring the VIN number is a crime, so you may want to think twice.

    Interestingly, the California DMV has been implicated is an even worse scam involving theft and VIN numbers. Aparently, it was once possible to walk into certain DMV independent service centers with the VIN number from somebody's car, and eventually obtain a clear title to their vehicle, so that you legaly own it. Interestingly, theives didn't do this to actually take the car, but rather to use the fraudulent DMV paperwork to commit identity theft, and steal monetary assets of the car owner.

    On the other hand, you could just buy a car where it is inpossible to make a working duplicate key from the VIN number. For example, my relatively inexpensive VW has an ignition immobilizer as standard equipment, as do many European cars (insurance companies in some countries began refusing to write theft policies for cars without them.) With the VIN number, you are able to make a key that fits and turns in the lock and ignition. However, although the car will start, it will die after a few seconds. This is because the key doesn't have the correct electronic code to satisfy the immobilizer. Supposedly, the only way to program the system to accept a new key is to have one of the original factory keys. For this reason, the car comes with three keys- two with remotes for use, and a third "service" key, which VW instructs you to keep in a very safe place, and never use, as a reserve in case you loose the other two and need to have more made. (What actually happens is that the car is programmed to match the new key, not the other way around. In order for the car to know that the programming operation is legit, it must be presented with one of the original factory keys during the procedure.) It is apparently possible to make working keys if you somehow loose all three. However, VW warns that this involves great expense and long delays (they make it sound like weeks). Because the dealer knows that they have to reprogram the car and need an original key, I doubt that they will even cut a key if you show up without the car itself and one of your original keys. On the other hand, there are key makers on the internet that will cut a key if given the VIN number. However, although this key will unlock the car, it will not allow it to be driven away, unless the car is reprogrammed using one of the original keys. (They supply instructions on how to do this-- it's quite easy if you have the original key, but very difficult without it.)
     
  5. Imported

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    Finedessert: ERIC:

    "In California, at least, obscuring the VIN number is a crime, so you may want to think twice."

    I live in California and didn't know that....so now I'm thinking twice about covering the vin number....Thanks for the heads up.

    I guess we should check with our local DMV before doing it.

    Of course there are 10,000 laws on the books, that are not covered in the booklet the DMV hands out in order to get a drivers license.

    Grandpa
     
  6. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Grandpa, you could always just give up and drive a Yugo!

    Nobody'd want to steal one of those.

    Well, maybe for parts.

    Pecker
     
  7. Imported

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    Finedessert: ROFLMAO: It's funny that you brought up the Yugo Pecker.

    I had a friend who got one brand new when they first came to the USA. He had it three years and sold it with only 173 miles on the damn thing. It was in the garage most of the time for " Repairs."

    I think the Yugo is the reason California came up with the Lemon Law.

    Grandpa
     
  8. Imported

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    prepstudinsc: I just bought a Volvo and had to take it in to the dealer because the remote clicker thing wasn't working properly. The car had to be reprogrammed to the chip that's in the remote. The dealer told me that I should never keep all the keys to the car on the same ring because they can reprogram themselves rendering the key unusable. It turns out that it wasn't the remote that was bad, but the sensor in the driver's door, so they replaced that and gave me a new remote, since the car had been reprogrammed to the new chip.

    I always thought that you had to provide proof of ownership--registration or something--when you got a new key made from the VIN number. I know that when my boss and I were at a conference out of state last year and he lost the key to his Jaguar, we had to go to the local Jag dealer to get a key made. Since his car was locked and he couldn't get to his registration or insurance card, the dealer made him have his insurance company fax them a proof of insurance with the VIN number on it, both to get the correct VIN number and to prove that it was registered in his name. Only then would they cut the new key for him--at a charge of $125 dollars. He showed up in the Jaguar computer system, but even with showing the dealer his drivers license, they still wanted proof that he did indeed own the car. Nothing wrong with being overly cautious. My boss said that he was glad that they did that because it was for his own protection.
     
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