Nissan Warns Drivers: Don't Put Mobile Phones Near Our Keys

from the well-that's-one-way-to-stop-driving-while-yakking... dept

Nissan is going around warning a bunch of US drivers of either the Nissan Altima or the Infiniti G35 to be careful with their mobile phones. However, it's not, as you might expect, about driving while using those mobile phones. Nope. It's about keeping those mobile phones away from the car keys that open and start the cars. Like many newer cars, these cars use a wireless key system. Unfortunately, they're discovering that mobile phones receiving calls while in contact with the keys can scramble the electronic code on the keys... making them into useless paperweights. This would seem like a pretty big problem -- and simply telling drivers to keep their phones away from their keys isn't likely to work very well, considering phones and keys very often end up together in people's pockets or purses.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2007 @ 7:12am

    This is nothing new. Any of these ranged key fobs can have the same problem. They are an active circuit and a cell phone can cause all kinds of problems. Most likely these specific fobs are not programmed with a firmware chip installed, but with a frequency flash from outside the fob. That means anything else that sends a relatively potent frequency in close proximity to the fob could reprogram it.

    Generally, the German car makers preprogram their fobs chip directly rather then just passing it through a field, that's why theirs don't have the same problem (usually). The down side of this is that you have to contact the parent facility in Germany every time you need a new one and it costs more for them to do it this way.

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