Are car keys becoming kaput?
Colleen Schmidt, CTV Calgary
Published Friday, May 2, 2014 2:18PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, May 2, 2014 2:26PM MDT
Every major car maker now offers slick keyless car ignitions as an option but some say there is still something special about turning the key to fire up the engine of their favourite ride.
Mercedes uses a Keyless Go system to start its vehicles.
“As long as the key is within the vicinity of the vehicle, all you have to do is put your foot on the brake, push the button and the vehicle will start,” said Philip Chan from Hyatt Auto Gallery.
Keyless systems are now also becoming standard in many mid-range cars but a recall of faulty key ignitions in some of GM’s cars has some rethinking the safety of the technology.
The flaw can shut down a car unexpectedly and is thought to have caused several deaths.
But is the recall enough to cause a key change?
"We have seen occasionally that the automobiles companies will respond. It’s primarily through the threats from insurance companies than it is from drivers. We’ve seen a lot of improvements in safety in the last 50 years so there’s no question that they can change their technology,” said Chris Bruce, Professor of Economics, University of Calgary.
Some car buffs say there is still a case for the key and at Classic Performance in Calgary they are churning out custom keys for clients.
"We have new, old stock keys, that are exactly like the original. We just cut them to the cars so they’re just original keys,” said Justin Tippet. “I personally like the key.”
From the crank to the key to the switch and beyond, car dealers say the technology will keep growing and soon drivers could be starting their cars with just a fingerprint.
(With files from Brad MacLeod)