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Bill Gives Locksmiths Access to Key Codes

May 25, 2006

Legislation approved last week by the Calif. state Senate may remove the wait for motorists stranded due to a lost or broken key, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Many new cars have specialized keys that can’t be duplicated without a proprietary key code from the manufacturer. Auto clubs report that most key-related service calls come after 5pm, leaving motorists stranded until the next business day or longer to get the key code from dealers. Under the bill, sponsored by The California State Automobile Association and Automobile Club of Southern California, manufacturers would have to provide locksmiths the codes needed to create the keys. The bill’s author, Sen. Carole Migden, says if the bill passes consumers won’t have to be towed and wait several days, though duplicate keys may not be cheaper.Manufacturers worry that granting greater access to security codes—even to licensed locksmiths—could lead to more stolen cars, the Chronicle reports. The bill awaits approval from the Assembly before returning to the Senate for a final vote.
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