USA Today has reported that some cars using smart keys or keyless ignitions may be vulnerable to theft. Some security experts recommend wrapping the smart key in layers of aluminum foil or placing the key in a metal container when not in use. However, there are currently no statistics on this type of car theft, and higher-end vehicles are more likely to be targeted, according to the Washington Post. Drivers may find it easier to place their smart keys in a Faraday or RFID blocker bag instead of using foil.
Keyless cars have also been linked to deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning when vehicles were accidentally left running in garages attached to homes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends checking the vehicle manual for instructions on how to make sure the engine is off.
Many smart keys have a blade tucked inside that can manually unlock the doors if the key fob battery fails. Some cars have valet keys placed inside the owner’s manual or in a tool kit. There may be a hidden car key hole concealed behind a piece of trim in the door or near the ignition. Some auto manufacturers can also remotely unlock a vehicle if the driver requests assistance using the company’s mobile app. There may be a mechanical door release handle on the floor next to each car seat. Sometimes the inactive key fob can be placed near the engine start/stop button, cup holder, vehicle emblem, or another spot to start the car or unlock the car doors. Most new cars will display a message when the smart key battery is low. Check the vehicle’s manual for more information.
The National Safety Council and the University of Iowa website MyCarDoesWhat.org is designed to educate drivers on vehicle safety features including push button start ignitions.