Caution: Buying Remotes Can Be A Challenge

Well, it is the holiday season and many stores and web sellers have rushed to add all sorts of great new products to their merchandise assortment. However, this sometimes leads to poorly conceived or poorly executed offerings.

In our product segment, for instance, a retailer is selling replacement cases for remote keyfobs. However, one keyfob case made for Chrysler parts says “FCC KBRASTU15” on the back. Well, KBRASTU15 is an FCC ID that was only used on remotes for Nissan and Infiniti vehicles. So someone, in their haste to get parts to market, did not do their homework. In the same program, there is a GM case that might look like it fits a whole bunch of remotes. Over several years, GM made remotes with FCC IDs beginning with ABO, KOB, LHJ and MYT that all look very similar. The thing is, the cases for these various keyfobs are not exactly the same, so a circuit board from one of these parts may not fit in cases made for one of the others. The cases we saw had no application information on the packaging, so I expect there will be more than a few returns and unhappy customers created with this program.

We have also seen a new program of replacement remote transmitters that claims no special tools are required for programming, when, in fact, a large number of the vehicles that use those remotes will require dealer programming. Again, we are not sure if this is aggressive marketing or just taking products to market in a very hasty manner.

If you are a potential buyer of replacement car remotes, just be careful, it’s a jungle out there.

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