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When I park my Prius, a red light blinks. The icon is an auto with the imprint of a key. Perhaps I missed it in the owners manual but what does this mean? Is it trying to tell me something?

Thank you in advance.
 

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Andysdad said:
. . . Is it trying to tell me something?

Thank you in advance.
It's not really trying to tell you something, it's trying to tell potential thieves that they'll have to contend with computerized watch dogs. And hoping this convinces them to try stealing the car next to yours instead.

They won't succeed in stealing your car, but they're likely to do a lot of damage trying. So it's best to warn them off.
 

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I believe the smart key system arms the engine immobilizer whether the doors are locked or not. That's what the flashing light indicates.
 

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On an unlocked car, the engine immobilizer functions as normal. It just kicks in after a short period of time after the car has been turned off. Anti-theft, if your vehicle came from the factory with that feature activated, or if you have had the dealer activate it for you, isn't active until you close and lock the vehicle. The light will flash, like it would in an unlocked vehicle, except that the light on the dash will be on steady for a period of time and then revert to flashing.
 

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The light has a dual function. It blinks when the car is off, informing you, and warning others, that it is protected by an immobilizer. The immobilizer is immediate. It is intrinsic to the power-up function of the car, in conjunction with the power ECU and HV ECU.
When you press Power, the ID of the fob is checked, and if valid, the power module puts the power mode to the intended mode, up to Ig-On. If you are intending to go to READY, then the HV will request from the immoblizer if it is really OK start. This request goes over a dedicated communications that is a paired shared secret, configured when the two ECUs are broought together at the factory, or when one is replaced.

If you have the alarm system activated, then the immoblizer symbol will stop flashing when you lock the car, indicating it is on delay to arm the alarm. After 30 seconds, it starts flashing again, indicating it is armed.
 
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