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Discussion Starter #1
fact: once a politically motivated thread gets started, it ends up ugly. no matter how much interesting dialogue goes on there, it always ends up bitter.

so please, can we either stick to relevant prius topics or build a new section called "the water cooler" or something of the like.

and now for something ON topic:

since the keyless entry is a new bit of technology, I was wondering if anyone here is aware of pruis thefts.
say you're in a restaurant and you leave your keys somewhere. chances are, there aren't too many prii in the parking lot...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was going to make a joke about GAP/GOP insurance but it's monday and I haven't had enough coffee.
 

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I have seen a number of discussions on Prius thefts. The consensus is that it will be hard to do. First with the rolling code changes makes it difficult. Second the car needs the computer to run so you can’t hot wire one, you have to get the computer to cooperate with you. You can put it on a flat bed but you would need a new computer to install to make it run with “your fob” . You could part it out and would guess that there is some market for parts but who is going to take it apart. It would have to be someone trained by Toyota at this point. My take on this is that for the short term we are relatively safe. Chop shops don’t know how to handle them and the real market is for whole cars in any case. Don’t loose your fob, if some one gets it they could take the car. In time the crooks will get smarter as hybrids become common in all car lines.
PS the open forum/ water cooler is a good idea. I support free exchanges but they might need to have their own place.
 

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If they really want your Prius, I can think of only two ways they could drive it away under its own power:

1) Steal the key fob from you, your home, or your desk at work, and use it to drive the car away

..or..

2) Carjack you, and either drive your car away by themselves, or force you to drive with them in the passenger or back seat.

Best defense:

As always, be alert. I like to park in a way that could give me two exit paths..forward OR backward, especially when I know I'll be coming back to the car after dark and/or in a poorly lit area. When alone, I approach and enter the car as quickly as possible.

Sometimes, I won't even stop to put stuff in the trunk; I'll get right into the driver's side and dump whatever it is I have on the passenger seat without bothering to be neat about it.

I know this speed thing would be difficult if you have kids to put into the car seats.

But speed and smoothness may well be the key to your survival, especially since violent crime can happen anyplace, at any time.

And if somebody's bound and determined to take your car directly from your possession, then it would be wise to assume that there's a good liklihood that they'll have no compunction about doing harm to you or those you may be with.

Speed and smoothness may also make you a less desirable target. If you're moving aimlessly, slowly, or carelessly, you're a prime target.

Immediately upon entering, I lock the doors, power it up, and while it's booting, I release the parking brake while holding the stick so that it will go immediately into gear. THEN and only then will I buckle up. THEN and only then will I feel free to mess with the radio or nav computer.

Consider this: The car is still silent; the ICE hasn't kicked in yet, but I am ready to drive even before I buckle up. I just keep my foot on the brake until I'm ready to go.

In an emergency, all I need to do is let go of the brake, and the car starts moving (if in "D"). If I punch it, it will jump forward (or backward) silently, but very quickly. An attacker unfamiliar with hybrids would not be prepared for sudden motive power! Hey, maybe I'll get lucky and I'll run over a potential attacker's feet! :twisted:

My best chance for survival is to escape a potentially bad situation, even if I just get 40 or 50 feet away before I have to figure out what to do next (merge into traffic, go left, go right, call 911). If the car isn't started, my chances for survival are greatly diminished.

Maybe this is all overkill. It's no doubt far more than you asked for. But I share it because I believe chance favors the prepared mind. I don't know who said that first; and yes, I did plagarize it! :D
 

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The original question asked, What if you leave your keys somewhere?

Well, in that case, you are SOL. If you are lucky, the guy that picks up your keys does not know how the thing works. But if he recognizes it as a Prius fob, and knows how it works, say goodbye to your car, because even if the parking lot is jam-packed with Prius, he can use the panic button to locate yours, and drive off.

Here in Fargo, if anybody found your keys in a restaurant, he'd stand up and shout, "Who lost their car keys?" So I'm not too worried. But I don't have my fob on my keychain, because my fob never leaves my pocket except at home when I change pants.
 

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Potential car thiefs and muggers look for people who are slowed down by bags, children, large purses, etc. My college roomate was mugged in D.C. while getting into his car with a crippled friend who used crutches. The mugger grabbed the crippled guy and threatened to hurt him if wallets were not surrendered.
For this reason, if you know you are going to be burdened by packages, etc..... avoid isolation from viewsheds, foot traffic, and people.

Also... I carry an old wallet with an expired driver's license (address scratched to make unreadable) and a few old useless credit cards, along with 15 or so one dollar bills. This is handy when walking in suspicious areas. If mugged. toss the wallet at the assailant and quickly walk the other way. By the time they figure it out you will be away. Anybody who is out late at night with all credit cards and documents in a wallet is insane these days.
 

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Haha.. Kenlacy is right.. why would we steal a car? he and I can both afford to buy as many as we like! :D

ken - if his car gets stolen, let's just get him a new one.. hahaha

MrScopes
 

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Hate To Rain On Your Theft-Proof Parade...

But there is someone down in the NY metro area who seems to be able to steal any GM vehicle. They don't need your key and they don't need your fob. They drive them away, anti-theft equipment and all. I have no idea how they do it. So far they only seem to go for high end GM vehicles like the $50,000 Hummer, but I don't think the Pri security system is really all that different.

We'd better hope they don't have a buddy who decides to specialize in Toyotas...
 

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One thing that I've been thinking about testing is if the SE/SS Prius has any form of 'no-key' security. (As in, if you get carjacked, but you keep the keyfob in your pocket, will the car stop running after being out of contact with the keyfob for a certain length of time? Or maybe if you hit the panic button they won't be able to cancel it from inside?)
 

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ehurtley said:
One thing that I've been thinking about testing is if the SE/SS Prius has any form of 'no-key' security. (As in, if you get carjacked, but you keep the keyfob in your pocket, will the car stop running after being out of contact with the keyfob for a certain length of time? Or maybe if you hit the panic button they won't be able to cancel it from inside?)
The first part of this has been discussed. Apparently, once the car is running, walking away with the fob will not shut it off. Having the engine die in traffic could cause an accident. But your second question is intriguing. I've never seen it answered. Can the panic alarm be cancelled without the fob?

Also, assuming they do not take the fob from you, they could never lock the car (to prevent someone else from stealing it from them) or start it again if they ever shut it off.

On the other hand, if you leave the car in Ready and forget to lock the doors (which you cannot do with the Smart-Lock switch if the car is on) then a joy-rider could drive it away. Senario (this almost happened to me once): You stop the car and put it in Park but forget to shut it off. You get out and push the smart-lock button. You hear the long beep, but it does not register because you are not paying attention. You walk away, leaving your car unlocked and ready to drive, by anyone who knows how. (In my case, it hit me 15 seconds later that the long beep was wrong, and I walked back to the car and shut it off and locked it properly.)
 

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Daniel said:
ehurtley said:
One thing that I've been thinking about testing is if the SE/SS Prius has any form of 'no-key' security. (As in, if you get carjacked, but you keep the keyfob in your pocket, will the car stop running after being out of contact with the keyfob for a certain length of time? Or maybe if you hit the panic button they won't be able to cancel it from inside?)
The first part of this has been discussed. Apparently, once the car is running, walking away with the fob will not shut it off. Having the engine die in traffic could cause an accident. But your second question is intriguing. I've never seen it answered. Can the panic alarm be cancelled without the fob?

Also, assuming they do not take the fob from you, they could never lock the car (to prevent someone else from stealing it from them) or start it again if they ever shut it off.

On the other hand, if you leave the car in Ready and forget to lock the doors (which you cannot do with the Smart-Lock switch if the car is on) then a joy-rider could drive it away. Senario (this almost happened to me once): You stop the car and put it in Park but forget to shut it off. You get out and push the smart-lock button. You hear the long beep, but it does not register because you are not paying attention. You walk away, leaving your car unlocked and ready to drive, by anyone who knows how. (In my case, it hit me 15 seconds later that the long beep was wrong, and I walked back to the car and shut it off and locked it properly.)
I discovered that you *CAN* lock yourself out. If you open the door, then use the internal power door lock button, it will lock all the doors. Then you can shut the door while it's running. I did that a couple days ago, then when I returned, SE wouldn't unlock it for me! (Neither would the button on the keyfob.) It made the double beep like it was unlocking, but it didn't actually unlock. I had to use the physical key to get back in. That was a little disturbing.

I understand that killing the engine in traffic is bad, but there are other security systems available that do this. Maybe it could show a countdown on the display "10 SECONDS TO SHUTOFF! PULL OVER NOW!"

Now I think I'll have to try the panic button and see what happens. (I'll go to an industrial area at night, I think. Don't want to disturb m neighbors.) And obviously they couldn't start it up again without the fob. I was curious more if there was a way to FORCE it off. (Of course, for features I want added, I would also like it if I could turn on the A/C (or heat) with the remote, so I could have a cool (or warm) car upon entering.)
 

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That surprises me: that you can lock the open door and then close it (my old Civic would not allow this) and further that neither SE nor the fob would get you back in!

I have never heard of a remote starter being available. In bitterly-cold weather (colder than about 15 below zero) I went out and started the car, and then came back inside for 5 minutes. I averaged 29 mpg in January on my ten-minute, 4-mile commute, but that was better than frostbitten fingers. Warmer than 15 below zero this was not necessary, as the Prius produces heat pretty quickly.

But with the heater on full-blast the ICE never shuts off and that contributes to my 29 mpg (short trip winter). It will be interesting to see if I can engage the EV switch while th heater is running. Obviously the ICE would not produce heat, but perhaps there'd still be a few minutes worth.

I may go for down mittens this winter. I saw a really warm bomber hat with ear flaps, but the darn thing was made of real rabit fur, and I won't wear leather or fur. (I don't eat meat either.) I'd really like to find a hat like that but made of fake fur.
 

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Re: Hate To Rain On Your Theft-Proof Parade...

kenmce said:
But there is someone down in the NY metro area who seems to be able to steal any GM vehicle. They don't need your key and they don't need your fob. They drive them away, anti-theft equipment and all. I have no idea how they do it.
This thief may have a tow truck.

And it may not even look suspicious if the thief targets illegally parked cars.
 

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It is possible to have a remote kill button. I have one on my motorcycle. If I am at a light, or in a parking lot, and someone pulls a gun to get me off my bike. I can hand it over, key in the ignition. When they pull away, reach into my pocket and hit a series of buttons on my fob (one button would be dangerous, in terms of unintended button pushing). Once I hit it, it waits a few seconds (to allow me time to get to safety if a gun was involved), then starts a countdown, at first it activates the horn for a while (10 seconds?), then it moves on to the alarm siren for a while, then it moves on to the lights, flashing them on and off. All to draw attention to the bike, and to let the would be theif know it isn't going to be that easy. It then disables the fuel pump and the starter (or maybe just the starter?). Causing the bike to stall.
Not being an electronics type, I would still guess this could be done on a car, and with less concern about weight and size. I would be surprised if someone out there hasn't developed it. The issue would be a little different, on a bike typically you take the key off your key ring to avoid scratches, and put the rest in your pocket. People don't do that with cars usually -- but the Prius with its remote is a little different than most cars. If they did it at the factory, the thiefs would just learn, demand the remote. But as an uncommon add on...

I remember seeing a film of a demonstration of an anti car jacking product developed in South Africa. Once activated, it actually shot fire out to the sides of the car from the side rocker panels (just underneath them actually). It was specifically designed to kill/maim the carjacker. Couldn't do that here in the states.

Spike
 

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Spike, Killiing and maiming are too good for a carjacker but not legal. My suggestion a few years back when queried about anti-carjacking methods (I have designed a few custom alarms) was two fold: 1. install jets similar to widndshield washer jets above the door openings on either side of the vehicle. plumb to a small pressure vessel filled with pepper spray and concentrated dye. The system is charged with a CO2 powerlet, compressed air, or ... (standard windshield washer pumps are too puny.)

When you are approached by the criminal and you have satisfactorily determined his intentions, press the discharge button. A dense powerful drenching of pepper spray is delivered, along with a bright dye for easy ID. This will likely produce the startle reflex in the attacker. The startle reflex is often accompanied by a sharp intake of breath. Too bad for the bad guy. At any rate he will be blind for a while. If your windows are open some mist could drift inside so you may have to hold your breath a few seconds while driving away.

The good news is that you don't have to shoot the bozo and he will forget all about everything but his burning eyes, face, etc. for a while. IF he drops his weapon you might decide to collect it as evidence or to prevent his recovering it. It would NOT be sportsmanlike to kick the s--- out of him while he was blind. Calling the cops is optional.

2. As you begin to exit your car to relinguish it to the carjacker you press a concealed switch which begins a count down to any number of options. Simply giving them 15 seconds and killing the ignitition can be effective as it gives you time to make yourself scarce but not enough time for the bad guy to get too far. This is not so much a public safety hazard as some may have led you to believe. When the bad guy gives up and takes off you employ the "secret" reset method and drive away (if you have a a key or fob or...)

:D Pat :D
 

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I like the second option; should also be technically feasible and "relatively" easy to implement (by someone who builds those kinds of things anyway). :)
 

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Here is a variation on the theme. I got my new car in Helena Montana and was driving it to Olympia WA. So I got 2 fobs right, right! I put one in my pocket and the other in my brief case and put that in the car. My son wants to drive the car, but it won't lock and beeps at us. He hits the fob lock button and I tell him that, that is not necessary in this high tech car!! (DA) So we fool around looking for a trash bag, etc. Finally the light dawns on me we can not lock the car because we left a fob in the car. Once, just once I would like to be right and the computer to be wrong and now my car!!! I am beyond hope.
 
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