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I have a 2015 Toyota RAV4 with the smart key system, which only requires having my key in my purse or pocket to unlock my car doors by simply "touching" the car door handle. My HOA recently posted the following incident regarding recent car break-ins in our area:
(excerpt)
....the police told him he had been a victim of the latest robbery tactic -- there is a device that robbers are using now to clone your security code when you lock your doors on your car using your key-chain locking device..They sit a distance away and watch for their next victim. They know you are going inside of the store, restaurant, or bathroom and that they now have a few minutes to steal and run. The police officer said to manually lock your car door-by hitting the lock button inside the car -- that way if there is someone sitting in a parking lot watching for their next victim, it will not be you.

My question of course is, IS MY TOUCH LOCKING MECHANISM SUFFICIENT TO KEEP INTRUDERS FROM BREAKING IN MY CAR? Or, should I be taking extra precaution by using the interior locks only?
 

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I don't know for sure, but I believe it is safer to use the proximity key rather than the actual buttons on the remote for locking and unlocking. Reason being that the transmitter has a much greater range when pushing the buttons. You can lock and unlock your car from 100 feet away or so when pushing the actual buttons so someone else within 100 feet of you can get that signal. However, the proximity key has a very short range, ie, you can only unlock the car by touching the pad on the handle if the key is within a few feet or so. So, I suspect that using the proximity to lock and unlock would be safer than using the fob buttons. But again that is just my suspicion. Hopefully someone can confirm if it is correct.

Safest bet though is to lock your doors with the inside door panel switch before closing your door.
I still can't get into the habit of doing that myself though.
 

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My question of course is, IS MY TOUCH LOCKING MECHANISM SUFFICIENT TO KEEP INTRUDERS FROM BREAKING IN MY CAR? Or, should I be taking extra precaution by using the interior locks only?
You're talking about 2 completely different things. The remote fob (button) signals can be picked up and copied, with a range of roughly 30 feet.

The smart key signal has a range of only a few feet and is present all the time. It makes absolutely no difference how you go about locking your doors, the smart key system is still active unless you disable it in vehicle setup. I'm sure that if there were any cases of a smart key signal being cloned, we'd have heard about it.

One thing to note: if you use the mechanical key to lock your door, it can only be opened again with the mechanical key.

Also be aware that the remote fob signals do nothing but open the door. Anyone who wants to open the car only needs a hammer to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Let me see if I can better rephrase the question...Is it more "reliable" (for lack of a better word) to lock my car doors by pressing the lock button on the inside door panel upon exiting the vehicle as opposed to touching the door handle from the outside of the car?
 

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Let me see if I can better rephrase the question...Is it more "reliable" (for lack of a better word) to lock my car doors by pressing the lock button on the inside door panel upon exiting the vehicle as opposed to touching the door handle from the outside of the car?
Makes absolutely no difference. But as was stated if you use the mechanical key, nothing else will open it except a mechanical key.
 

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I have the Smart Key and I lock my door upon exit with the interior door switch. I guess the Police feel if the crook doesn't see you with the FOB in your hand your theft risk will be less.

I also dislike the horn sound that signals you are locked.
 

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Makes absolutely no difference. But as was stated if you use the mechanical key, nothing else will open it except a mechanical key.

Trust me to try that and find that it doesn't apply to our 2014.:) I can lock the doors with the mechanical key and all doors are locked, however I can use the key fob buttons or touch the door handle and everything unlocks.
 

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The local police have been blaming a rash of thefts at the local shopping mall on this same technique - warning shoppers to manually lock their doors when going in to shop. They demonstrated it with a volunteer's car. One additional bit - the OEM key only has a short range but the equipment the thieves are supposedly using has a range of at over a hundred feet.
 

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The local police have been blaming a rash of thefts at the local shopping mall on this same technique - warning shoppers to manually lock their doors when going in to shop. They demonstrated it with a volunteer's car. One additional bit - the OEM key only has a short range but the equipment the thieves are supposedly using has a range of at over a hundred feet.
I'm not sure why this keeps getting confused. The smart key system is NOT what's being written about. It may be theoretically possible to clone the smart key - if and only if the criminal is standing within a couple feet of you. But what is being discussed in these articles is the standard remote control key fobs. And once again - unless you have the remote start option all it does is open the door.
 

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I'm not sure why this keeps getting confused. The smart key system is NOT what's being written about........ And once again - unless you have the remote start option all it does is open the door.
I think this episode of the CBC Marketplace may help clear things up.

In one sequence you can see how the bad guys place a small transmitter near your car so that the signal from the keyfob doesn't work. This causes you to press the button over and over as you approach the car. When you get close enough, the doors unlock, and all appears normal, except the bad guy has captured the code from your keyfob.

When you unlock the door by touching the handle only, the code is no longer transmitted 100 yards, and and it is less likely to be intercepted.
 

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I think this episode of the CBC Marketplace may help clear things up.
Thanks for the clear-up. The demo they did here -was- about the smart key. They held it out and showed everyone, then demonstrated how it was done on a BMW, then gave us a verbal list of several other makes that were vulnerable including some Toyotas. The officer made a point of telling us he wasn't talking about the regular remote "key fobs" that most cars used but the luxury versions that had "key-less starting" with a smart key. Whether the thieves are just targeting the more expensive cars for break ins wasn't talked about but he was very specific that shoppers with smart key systems should manually lock their doors.

Question is, does the smart key system do something different to run the doors than a regular key fob?
 
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