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Discussion Starter #1
12/18/03
I posted the message pasted below concerning 2004 Prius owners' need for a little more security provided by being able to lock the Rear Storage Compartment. Apparently, no one at Toyota thought of providing a lock.

Does anyone know of any way to present this dilemma to the people at Toyota who make design changes to the Prius? (Addressing a letter to "customer service" at Toyota is no better than writing a wish list to Santa Claus.)

If anyone knows of anyone's name and address at Toyota in the Prius design department, I would love to have it.

Harrison

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Does anyone know of a "lock kit" which can be purchased for the lid of the Rear Storage Compartment for the 2004 Prius?

Some readers may have owned a 1990 to 1995 Volvo wagon. This wagon had the same type of Rear Storage Compartment as the 2004 Prius. Volvo had installed on each Rear Storage Compartment lid a key lock flush with the surface of the lid. This compartment functioned very much like a small trunk providing a more secure storage, not only out of sight but also under "lock & key". A very welcome feature when leaving the car with a parking lot attendant....

Unfortunately, Toyota has not seen fit to offer a lock for the Rear Storage Compartment.

Does anybody have any suggestions...?
 

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What are you talking about? Locking the whole cargo compartment? Locking that little area under the cargo floor mat? Why is this such a big deal? Do you have terrorists milling about in your car???
 

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You know, I think you're in fairly limited company thinking this is a significant issue.

1)Don't leave important stuff in your car--whether with a valet or not it's a good rule of thumb, but if you know you'll be using a valet just plan ahead or take the expensive stuff with you. If you must leave expensive stuff in the car then don't valet park, lock the car, use the tonno (never can spell it right) cover and noone will know there's anything there.

2)Any lame little lock Toyota or anyone else could provide would be easily defeated with a crowbar or a screw driver and you'd still be out in the cold.

3)At best such a lock would give you a false sense of security and probably increase your chances of having something valuable taken b/c you wouldn't follow the guidelines in #1 above.

4)Most valets are honest, unless you go to some really seady places. The decent places are insured if you can prove something was taken, but you should probably have personal property insurance on stuff like computers and cameras and such that you'd be prone to leave in that compartment anyway.

5)Use the compartment for what it was designed, store the tonno cover, maybe a dirty rag for checking the oil, perhaps a spare tool set, etc. And live by #1 above.

6)If I got a survey and was asked about an item like this I'd advise against it. I love not needing a key for my prius and if there was a lock I'd likely lose the key or have to carry one I don't want to carry.

Your previous post had several suggestions for implementing your own lock. I suggest you see if those will work out for you.

I'm not trying to bash you, and I suppose you've got some good personal reasons for feeling this is important to you. But I routinely carry upwards of $10,000 in camera gear in my car at a time. I promise you I'd feel no more secure leaving that in the 'locked' compartment than I would just sitting in the back. If someone knows it's there, and wants it, they'll get it. If they don't know it's there but break in looking for 'something', they'll find it, locked compartment or not. If they don't know it's there and don't want to randomly break in then whether that compartment is locked or not is mute. I hope you can follow that logic flow.
--evan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WHY A LOCK WOULD BE A NICE FEATURE

12/19/03
Evan,
You have some very good points. However, I still think a lock would ba an asset to each Prius 2004 owner.

The RSC (Rear Storage Compartment) is not very deep; but it is very wide and is deep enough for a thin briefcase, small items purchased at the mall and small personal things like a watch, cell phone, pager, PDA, etc.

It is true that a crowbar will defeat any lock. However, an insurance claim for stolen items left under lock & key is more likely to be paid; whereas, items stolen which were not locked up are likely to be classified by the insurance company as "mysterious disappearance" items, which is a loss more difficult to prove.

A casual thief with sticky fingers is much more likely to steal a tempting item if it is not under lock & key. A lock would be an deterrent, not a firm shield against a determined thief.

About the tonneau cover.. Any thief knows the tonneau is used only when there are items of value in the car under the tonneau. Using the tonneau, especially when shopping, advertises this fact. In contrast, placing small items in the RSC presents no indication that valuable purchases are in the car. Additionally, placing a lock on the RSC lid prevents easy entry to the RSC by the small minority of valet guys with sticky fingers.

Concerning your comment about the undesirable burden of adding a key to the Prius keyless unit.. The key for the lock can be tossed into the glove compartment when the lock is not being used. When the owner wishes to lock something in the RSC for a short time, such as when leaving the Prius with a valet, the key can be placed in the pocket or purse while shopping. After shopping, the key can be returned to the glove compartment until the next trip to the mall.

I hope I have been able to convince you and other Prius 2004 owners that a lock for the RSC would be a good thing.

Now how do we convince Toyota?

Best, Harrison

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efusco said:
You know, I think you're in fairly limited company thinking this is a significant issue.

1)Don't leave important stuff in your car--whether with a valet or not it's a good rule of thumb, but if you know you'll be using a valet just plan ahead or take the expensive stuff with you. If you must leave expensive stuff in the car then don't valet park, lock the car, use the tonno (never can spell it right) cover and noone will know there's anything there.

2)Any lame little lock Toyota or anyone else could provide would be easily defeated with a crowbar or a screw driver and you'd still be out in the cold.

3)At best such a lock would give you a false sense of security and probably increase your chances of having something valuable taken b/c you wouldn't follow the guidelines in #1 above.

4)Most valets are honest, unless you go to some really seady places. The decent places are insured if you can prove something was taken, but you should probably have personal property insurance on stuff like computers and cameras and such that you'd be prone to leave in that compartment anyway.

5)Use the compartment for what it was designed, store the tonno cover, maybe a dirty rag for checking the oil, perhaps a spare tool set, etc. And live by #1 above.

6)If I got a survey and was asked about an item like this I'd advise against it. I love not needing a key for my prius and if there was a lock I'd likely lose the key or have to carry one I don't want to carry.

Your previous post had several suggestions for implementing your own lock. I suggest you see if those will work out for you.

I'm not trying to bash you, and I suppose you've got some good personal reasons for feeling this is important to you. But I routinely carry upwards of $10,000 in camera gear in my car at a time. I promise you I'd feel no more secure leaving that in the 'locked' compartment than I would just sitting in the back. If someone knows it's there, and wants it, they'll get it. If they don't know it's there but break in looking for 'something', they'll find it, locked compartment or not. If they don't know it's there and don't want to randomly break in then whether that compartment is locked or not is mute. I hope you can follow that logic flow.
--evan
 

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Lemme soften my initial response a bit. I certainly wouldn't mind if a lock was added, or offered as a port/dealer option for a small price. I agree with you on the 'sticky fingers' issue. Something small left back there you wouldn't even notice was gone for days unless you specifically checked as it is. I guess my main feeling/point is that you posted this thread in bold face and put it forth as a significant issue/fault with the current car. And I just don't see it like that. Gimme a working fuel guage, a tilt seat, a little more driver leg room, factory/port XM radio....those are bold face "Toyota needs to hear about this" issues, to me, with this car.

As you say, I'd certainly consider a lock as a nice little touch/accessory if offered and might even use it from time to time.
--evan
 

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I hate to say it, but I just dont get it....

and your comment of
"A casual thief with sticky fingers is much more likely to steal a tempting item if it is not under lock & key. A lock would be an deterrent, not a firm shield against a determined thief. "

does not make sense....um...if you LOCK YOUR CAR, then technically is not the cargo compartment under lock and key?

I have a feeling that a previous personal incident is prompting this....I am sorry for that, but if we are going to get toyota to change something in this car, I would say that this lock is WAY down the list.....

peace,

Dave
 

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pakman said:
I hate to say it, but I just dont get it... [snip] ...if we are going to get toyota to change something in this car, I would say that this lock is WAY down the list...
I have to agree. I wouldn't mind if Toyota had designed a locking mechanism into the rear compartment, but I'm not upset that they didn't. If a thief wants in badly enough your stuff is as good as gone--lock or no lock.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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4)Most valets are honest, unless you go to some really seady places. The decent places are insured if you can prove something was taken, but you should probably have personal property insurance on stuff like computers and cameras and such that you'd be prone to leave in that compartment anyway.
With apologies in advance for being a bit off-topic, I must tell of a common scam in Mexico (where I lived for a while): You drive to a restaurant where parking is hard to find. You see a big sign: "Valet Parking" (in Spanish, of course) and a man dressed in an impressive-looking uniform. You give him your car keys and he gives you a professional-looking claim ticket. You never see your car again.
 

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The lock on the compartment is a good idea. Just like the lock on the car itself, If somebody wants your car bad enough, he'll get it. Just like stuff in a locked compartment, if a theif wants it bad enough, he'll get. A lock would keep a casual theif at bay. Unless he knows there is something real valuable in there, would the average theif take the time to crowbar open a locked compartment while he only has seconds to pillage the car's contents with the alarm going off? Probably not. He'll look in the center consol and glove boxes then split. Most thieve probably won't even know that compartment is anything but the spare tire.
 

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I would like to make two points:

When I had my '83 Trans Am, it had the rear hatch with tonneau. I always used the tonneau to cover the trunk bottom, regardless of whether or not I had anything of value stored in the hatchback.

I had two thefts from that car:

1) car stereo
2) metal louvres off the back of the hatch.

Never had the hatch broken into.

Oh yeah, the hatchback "floor" did have a door to a "secret compartment" down below. Yes, it did have a lock, which I did use whenever storing anything of value down in the well.

I too, think the lock is a good idea. Wouldn't hurt, anyhow.
 
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