Join Date: Oct 2004
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Re: Car theft by keys from VIN number?
This absolutely can happen. I worked at a Nissan dealer and we ALWAYS could get keys cut FOR other makes of cars based on the V.I.N. Most manufacturers have the ability. Some are judicious with the info; others will cut a key for about anyone.
If you bought the car at our dealership, we recorded it on all of the sales record and Service Work Orders (actually on the first work order, which became the “parent” ticket and could be accessed fairly easily). We used to speculate that we could just cut a key to ANY Nissan on the road and just go “pick it up”. If you needed a key we would verify that you were the customer and could hand cut the key with an aftermarket device (Curtis and Ilco made them). I once went with a repo man and my “code book” to cut a key on site. It takes about 3 minutes. The codes are a five digit number that then has to be “converted” or de-coded to the ”steps” or notches that are them cut out of the key blanks with a tool similar to a hole punch. We alway got calls (two or three a week) asking if the car had been purchased at our dealership and if we had the keycode) Nissans were difficult to pick, so if you were "out of town" and lost you keys, lock****hs could call and fromwhere you were and "cut" you a key. Again, this ALWAYS was going on.
If we didn't have the code or couldn't find where it was puchased, we could run an inquirey agains the manufacturer's data base and get the number. This took a little longer, but was still very do-able.
Anyone with a familiarity of the “system” could come up with a code. If you have a “friend” with access to blanks and the tools; you’ve got a key. We occasionally would misplace a key to a car (new or used, Nisasan or not) and would cut a key to move the car; that was easier than “finding” the keys or calling the customer. The newer keys can’t be cut (Z cars, Infiniti’s, etc.) but the run of the mill key is easily made. I’ve seen the new laser cut keys on most upscale and European cars, but even they can be had… for a price. (My sister needed a new key for her BMW and just had to order it. They asked for I.D. to accept her check but not the for the key)