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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all; I am an author/writer/researcher from Liverpool UK. My current project requires information concerning the driver-side indicator light on a US 1999 RAV4. Can anything of importance be accessed by removing the indicator light/kit? Eg, steering column locking system, ability to open the doors of a locked car, hot-wiring, etc?

If you can assist me, you can contact me at [email protected], and I will prove I am not a car thief looking for info - I cannot drive myself.

My warmest Regards

John Gannon BSc. MA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply.

Front Driver's Side, Right, as you stand at the front of the vehicle.
 

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Sounds like interesting work, who do you write for? Also if there’s nobody else I can check my ‘98 Rav on the 26th or 27th
 

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FYI -- Sides of vehicles are determined by looking in the forward-driving direction.

What, specifically, do you think might be in there? I can look around there easily if assembled, but removing the lens, etc. is more work.

FYI #2 -- The rear marker lights' black-plastic "bucket" is well-known to disintegrate with time. IDK about the fronts'.
 

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FYI -- Sides of vehicles are determined by looking in the forward-driving direction.
Yep, as if you're in the driver's seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, the car was locked when found by cops, though, it would appear, evidence had been planted inside car. Cops maintain they had to have a key made in order to open the car when they got it back to be processed. I'm thinking, the light unit may have been 'popped' out where it was found, with a tool of some sort - but then they had to snap it off at the right-hand end of the unit (sitting in the driver's seat), where the retaining nut is (is if possible to 'pop' the light unit out from the left-hand side (sitting in the driver's seat)?). Then, if this gave access to the door locking mechanism, open the door that way in order to plant the evidence prior to it being processed. BTW - does a US 1999 RAV4 have a remote locking fob? Also, can you tell the difference between the actual key that came with the car when bought, and one that had been made (machine cuts on the key shank, etc)?

Many thanks for your assistance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will sort out evidence pics and post them in a wee - possibly be a bit clearer what the damage was.

Thanks to you all.
 

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From my understanding, some of them had a remote locking fob and some didn’t. There were factory ones and aftermarket ones. The only way to tell without the keys is to find the extra wires in the drivers side foot well by the fuse box (there are some posts on here abt it)

As for the keys being distinguishable, I’m not sure because I’m not a locksmith, but I can post a side by side photo of the original and a copy in a few days and maybe you can tell.

I will say it takes a LOT of force to crack these plastic bumpers (trust me, I know and a pole knows) like the one in the photos, so the hit (collision?) could have been significant enough to knock out the light and seems to be in the right spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Excellent intel - thank you! So - a couple of possible scenarios, is that that (looking at the exhibit photos) whoever was driving it when that light 'popped' out, may have hit something low to the ground (hence the damage at the base of the bumper; distorted the bumper so badly, the light 'popped' out of its housing, and may have cracked off under its own volition? Or, (due to the fact that light unit was in the cargo area of the vehicle and seems undamaged, except for the crack at the 'nut end') following the impact, the light was hanging loose, and somebody snapped it off? Would you think somebody would have had to have been driving at high-speed in order for this kind of damage to occur? Or, attempting to slowly push a heavy object out of the way may also have sustained this damage, and 'popped' the light out of its casing?
 

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Re the cops making a key - Given the VIN, a dealer can cut a key. That’s likely what they did. I’ve had fresh-cut keys made for all of my ‘Yotas. Takes about 10 minutes and costs $0 - $10.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Can you tell, visually, the difference between a key that actually came with the car, and one that was bought? As I mentioned, I don't drive, so I would not know.

Thank you all, once again.
 

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Can you tell, visually, the difference between a key that actually came with the car, and one that was bought? As I mentioned, I don't drive, so I would not know.

Thank you all, once again.
All original keys have the manufacturers logo on them. Most hardware store/Walmart duplicated ones have either no logo or that of the its maker. But then copies made by a car dealer may look identical to the original.
 

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^+1. An original key would have the Toyota logo on them. The duplicates I’ve had made at a Toyota dealer did not. That could vary by dealership.
 

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The pictures posted seemed familiar to me, took about 5 minutes on Google. These are photos from the Teresa Halbach case are they not? Not very many cold cases involving a 1999 Green Rav4. Soon as I saw the photo of the driver side front bumper it made sense. I encourage readers to look up this odd case because if anyone is going to know the ins and outs of a 1999 Rav4 well enough to help out Joe here, its gonna be someone here. Unfortunately I have a '97 so I personally cannot be of much help.
 

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