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Key fob ‘nightmare’: Car owners facing replacement issues as manufacturers see shortages

Keys are becoming a thing of the past for many new cars: most of us carry fobs now.

But what happens if you lose one, or it stops working? Boston 25 News found a fob shortage is making it tricky.

One man tells us, he has been forced to ride his bike to work for months while he waits for a new fob!

“I lost my key fob to my 2013 Acura ILX. It’s a hybrid and I had no idea it would turn into the nightmare that it’s become,” said Eric Bishton.

The Florida man says he misplaced his keys one day at the gym. He says he hired a locksmith to reprogram his key, but no luck. He tried others, and even went to the dealership, but no one could help he says.

So he had to order a new fob. That was 3 months ago.

With no way to start his car, Eric has been biking 16 miles back and forth to work 5 days a week since October.

“There has been a backorder since 2022… when I had contacted Acura Corporation I got a case manager. She had said that I was 300-something on the list waiting for a key fob,” Bishton explained.

A post-pandemic chip shortage may be to blame, with car manufacturers from \Honda to Toyota feeling the pinch.

Thread after thread shows people still waiting for a second key fob for new cars in 2024.

Some being told those keys are still months away.

But in a statement, Toyota says things are looking better, writing:

“our key fobs are back to full production...”

“there may be some vehicles on lots without a second key fob.. If that’s the case they should receive the second key relatively quickly.”

Checking with other dealers, Kia’s said it is not facing a shortage

Acura, which is owned by Honda, is still looking into the issue. We did find this Acura dealer website warning that reads:

“…due to the ongoing microchip shortage and supply chain disruptions, key replacements are subject to availability based on model and trim.”

Bishton says for now, he’s seeing a “vague light” at the end of the tunnel.

“I’ve since found out that I’ve moved from 300-something on the list to 220th-something on the list,” Bishton said. “I don’t even know if it’ll start when this fob eventually comes in.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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