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Cost of Key Replacement and programming Fee

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Dear Ford Executives,

 

I have owned many Fords over the years and recently traded my 2013 Ford Taurus in for a 2015 Fusion. I always buy used cars as I can never justify buying a new car. When I bought the Fusion I knew it only had one key fob. I thought no big deal. How much could it cost? Well then I priced a new key fob and it was $200 and the dealer charges $100 to program it. That is $300 for an extra key. I also have to have two keys to program a third key myself as a “Security feature”. Oddly my insurance company doesn’t give me a price break for this added security so who is it really helping? But back to the main issue. The key fob in question is fairly basic and had a blade key. I can buy new ones like it off eBay for $30. Of course they don’t apparently have the Ford custom chip in them I am assuming as I tried one and the dealer could not get it to work. I work in the semiconductor business. My company builds the equipment to test the semiconductor chips including all the ones that go into your vehicles. I am an electrical engineer and know from my customer’s and my hardware design experience roughly how much it cost to make the electronics that go into the key fob. Based on my knowledge and the fact that the fobs are likely made in China or Mexico by a third party my guess is the cost to Ford for one of these fobs is $10 to $20 and I may be guess high here. So assuming that it the case you are charging a customer $200 for a part that may cost you $20. That is a 10X markup to the customer or 1000% markup. So I want you as executives to stop for a moment and think about that. I know there is engineering cost to pay for in the development on the key fob but your company is charging a customer 1000% markup for key! For a person making minimum wage by the time they pay the dealer to program it that is about 36 hours of work for them or almost a whole week pay for a key!! Ford wants a whole weeks paid from a minimum wage worker for a key! That is inconceivable and unconscionable in my opinion and is beyond gouging and if a customer only has one key and loses it they are basically paying a ransom to Ford be able to use their car again. Because they have to buy TWO OF THEM as even the dealer cannot just program a single key! I know of no other business that can make 1000% markup for a physically item they sell. Fortunately I make more than minimum wage but this still made me swallow hard to write a $300 check for a key. If I had lost the only key I had it would have cost me $600 because I would have had to buy two just to get one working key. I know you can justify this in your minds by saying to yourselves that all the other car company’s do this so we are aligned with the industry. How about being a LEADER in the industry and making reason mark ups on your spare parts and not gouging customers. You want to sell more cars? Make the cost of ownership the lowest in the industry and see how many people start buying Fords. People buy Toyotas and Hondas because they “don’t break”. I think Ford has come a long way in catching up to Toyota and Honda but imagine if a Toyota and Ford owner are talking and both bragging about how reliable their 8 year old Camry and Fusions are and then one mentions they lost a key and other says yeah I lost one once too. The Toyota owner says it cost me $300 to replace it! Now what if the Ford owner could say it only cost me $50 and it has the best security available at the time. That is what will start winning the game for Ford. I am writing this as I feel very angry about this because I know I am being completely ripped off. It’s not a good feeling.

 

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I hate to be harsh, but why should Ford care about someone who only buys used cars? You don't contribute anything towards Ford's bottom line when you buy a used vehicle. If you bought a new vehicle it would come with 2 keys. If you wanted 2 keys then you should have negotiated that with the seller.

 

BTW you can get the keys for $60 or less from non-Ford sources. You just have to get the right one.

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First off, I know it sucks. My wife accidentally flushed one of her VW keys down the toilet a couple of weeks ago. She was pretty mad at herself but guess what? VW charges $300 for their keys, too. And you know what? So does Honda and Mercedes. It's just the reality of smart key technology. ALL of the major brands charge a lot more for their keys than they used to. That's because keys don't just open doors and start the car nowadays. And yes, the technology behind those keys is expensive. Since you work in the semiconductor industry, I'm sure you know that technology costs a lot to develop. I almost lost one of the keys to my old Mercedes and was none too pleased at the prospect of having to shell out the cash. However, be that as it may, you mentioned that you only buy used cars. Good for you, I'm sure you saved $1,000s in depreciation costs by buying that 2015 Fusion. Great car, by the way, I'm sure you're enjoying it. But my point is that while you may have to pay $300 for an extra key, you saved WAY more than that by buying used. Lastly, I sensed in your post that you were getting more and more carried away with a scenario about which you were entirely speculating. Yes, you're angry and I'm not surprised. But you just made up facts starting with how much you "think" it costs Ford to make that key and then pretty soon you're ending every sentence with !! and then assuming you're correct about a 1000% markup. And then you go off about the charge to the poor man making only minimum wage, when you admit you make more than that. I think you just need to calm down. Sure, you hate having to buy a new key. But I'm sure you know the reason behind them having to program it. In the old days any schmuck could steal your car with a regular old key, it's impossible for car thieves to duplicate a programmed key. OK maybe not 100% impossible, but smartkey technology helps prevent your beautiful 2015 Fusion from being stolen, and that to me would be worth the $300. Just my $.02...

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Ok I have to ask...

 

How in the world does a key accidentally get flushed down the toilet?

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Ok I have to ask...

 

How in the world does a key accidentally get flushed down the toilet?

 

I could see that. Some women like to carry their keys instead of putting them in their pockets or purse. Set it on the counter to use the restroom, flush, bump keys, gone!

 

My sister flushed her engagement ring. Took it off at work to put lotion on, knocked it in the toilet while it was still flushing.

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She tells me she had, err, just used the toilet for its normal function and the key slipped out of her pants pocket just as she was pushing the flush lever down. Truth is stranger than fiction, what can I say?

Edited by Stephen White

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I've had my phone fall out of my pocket that way but luckily it missed the bowl......

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  • Certified Pre Owned cars come with two keys.
  • You can purchase a Ford Protect plan that includes key coverage
  • New Ford's come with two keys.

Sounds like are mad at yourself for not having priced out a key before you bought the car. If the car had two keys it probably would have cost more.

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The missing key, wherever it is, will still operate your car. Part of adding a new key is clearing the key memory to get rid of the old missing key and then adding the existing key and the new key.

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Any decent locksmith will have the correct key, including chipped key and keys with the remote lock/unlock built in. They also have the correct equipment to program everything. They will charge must less than the dealer.

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Any decent locksmith will have the correct key, including chipped key and keys with the remote lock/unlock built in. They also have the correct equipment to program everything. They will charge must less than the dealer.

Actually I have found some lock smith charge more. We charge a .5 hour. I was at a lock Smith and they charged a customer $95 and we were $65. Plus they didnt know that the customer could have just used their one key to add another. It was an older expedition. Point is I would call and compare first.

Edited by fordtech1

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If you have two working (master) keys you can program a spare yourself. I always program a 3rd spare and stick it in the safe.

Be aware some cheap locksmiths will just clone one of your keys. It will work but you cannot use it as a master key to program others in the future and would have to visit the locksmith again or the dealer. If you get a low ball price ask the locksmith to make sure you are getting a programmed master key.

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Au contraire. I just purchased a 2018 F-250 and being diligent I set out to make a spare from the two originals I got with the vehicle. I have gone through 4 new OE IKT keyfobs, from different vendors, and have not been able to get a single one to work with the programming sequence printed in the user manual. Dealer wants $$$ to connect the truck to a computer even though it is brand new. Of course you can hook the vehicle up to the computer, blow off all the keys and reprogram everything from scratch but then that was what we were supposed to be able to avoid. Locksmith in SC says he hasn't been able to program spares on 2018 F-250s either and now just starts by blowing everything off and using the computer. Has anybody else had problems with 2018s? Or has anybody had success with a 2018 F-250 programming a spare key? Very frustrating.

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On other vehicles it’s been reported the owner’s manual instructions are wrong and to try a slightly different method, but I don’t have a link to any at my fingertips.

 

Do a google search - I’m sure someone has figured it out.

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You can always just get a tune and tell the tuner to turn off the PATs system. I've done that on a few cars. Nothing like the good old days of $0.99 hardware store copies.

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My vehicle is a 2017 with standard ( not a push button ) ignition.

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A followup. The dealer looked at my keys and was convinced they were the proper ones. He was not able to get them to program either. I told him if he had a new key and could program it without hooking it to the computer I would buy it. This dealership did not have the machine to cut the key part and normally used the locksmith down the road a bit who is the same locksmith that cut mine. In the end the dealer hooked me up to the computer gratis and programmed everything no problem. So I now know for sure that the keys were good. Didn't answer the question why the procedure in the manuals didn't work but at least now I have my extra keys and it didn't cost me big $$$. Kudos to the dealer service manager who took care of this.

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A followup. The dealer looked at my keys and was convinced they were the proper ones. He was not able to get them to program either. I told him if he had a new key and could program it without hooking it to the computer I would buy it. This dealership did not have the machine to cut the key part and normally used the locksmith down the road a bit who is the same locksmith that cut mine. In the end the dealer hooked me up to the computer gratis and programmed everything no problem. So I now know for sure that the keys were good. Didn't answer the question why the procedure in the manuals didn't work but at least now I have my extra keys and it didn't cost me big $$$. Kudos to the dealer service manager who took care of this.

 

Surprised to hear that your Dealer didn't have the equipment to cut the key as cutting and programming replacement keys is a common function for dealerships.

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Sidecut key machines are VERY expensive, Small dealers are not likely to have one, or sublet the cutting to a locksmith or other dealer. I also believe at one point we could order the keys pre-cut.

 

To TVwilliams: there is a selection in the PATS menu on IDS that will disable or enable customer programming of keys. It may have been set to "disable" at some point, accidentally.

Edited by YT90SC

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You can always just get a tune and tell the tuner to turn off the PATs system. I've done that on a few cars. Nothing like the good old days of $0.99 hardware store copies.

Can they also turn off the seatbelt chime?

 

So annoying.

 

Edit NVM, apparently there is a procedure in the owners manual. Rock on Ford!

Edited by probowler

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Can they also turn off the seatbelt chime?

 

So annoying.

Very easy to do.

 

Buckle the damn seatbelt.

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Can they also turn off the seatbelt chime?

 

So annoying.

 

Edit NVM, apparently there is a procedure in the owners manual. Rock on Ford!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B06W2PJRHV/ref=mp_s_a_1_1/136-6481061-3845722?ie=UTF8&qid=1519609963&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=seat+belt+alarm+silencer&dpPl=1&dpID=41KIg16J4EL&ref=plSrch

 

For the drunk who hates wearing a seatbelt

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Lol. That's amazing.

I actually once considered going to a junkyard to acquire a belt clip, this might be a better option.

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Very easy to do.

 

Buckle the damn seatbelt.

 

No.

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