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Old 09-17-2001, 02:20 PM   #1
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Attention Saturn thefts hit Southern California???

Has anyone heard about a recent surge in Saturn thefts in Southern California, possibly growing in size and volume? I was on a chat site last night, happily talking about MY NEW 2002 L200 (with the new badge ) when one of my friends on chat, who is in law enforcement in SoCal, told me that someone had let loose a MASTER KEY that works on apparently all L-series vehicles, or else others as well. I told him I would pass this along to this site.

Has anyone else heard about this? Is there anything Saturn might do about this if this story is true (which I see no reason why he would make up something like this, he is a very level-headed guy).

Sounds like Saturn owners are perhaps in trouble.

Also, any opinions about the anti-theft product where you place a metal bar under your brake pedal, and the name of that product, and where you can get it, and the cost?

Thanks!

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Old 09-17-2001, 07:20 PM   #2
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How recent were these thefts? If this were true, we would probably hear about a massive TSB/re-call on these cars. I find it kind of hard to believe that a magic key exists for all the cars -- of course -- with as electronic as things are now, who knows.

Such a recall would probably make some sort of headlines. Chat lines are not exactly a creditable source of information IMHO.

If you (or anyone) hears anything about it, be sure to post here.

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Old 09-17-2001, 11:16 PM   #3
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I also find it interesting that, especially on best selling models, your key will fit several other cars. I think there are only about 15,000-25,000 key combinations. Sometimes the key type isn't changed from model year to model year. However, finding those other cars is a near impossible task!

I do not believe a car company would be stupid enough to create a master key. There may be a master door lock remote (or a device that can scan frequencies).

Having a key to steal a car is nice, but key or no key if I thief wants your car, he will take it. Also, if there is no black market for stolen L series cars, then even with a key a profession thief won't want the car. A joy rider, yes.

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Old 09-18-2001, 06:22 AM   #4
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15-25k key combos? My fellow CarClubber must have some luck then. He was able to jiggle his SL key around and open my SL2. I think he tweaked the cylinder a bit, since it catches every now and then.

It usually takes about 5 yrs. for a black market for used parts to develop -- not a lot of demand until there are a lot of old cars in need of new interiors, body parts, etc. I'd think it would be the S cars getting stolen now, not the Ls.

Chatrooms can be bad places to get info, especially for stock tips

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Old 09-18-2001, 08:37 AM   #5
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My 2000 LS and 1994 Plymouth Voyager have interchangeable door keys. I can use either vehicle's keys to open either vehicle's doors. They do not work in the ignition though. Doesn't take any jiggling either.

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Old 09-18-2001, 09:50 AM   #6
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15-25k key combos? My fellow CarClubber must have some luck then. He was able to jiggle his SL key around and open my SL2. I think he tweaked the cylinder a bit, since it catches every now and then.
The original S series ignitions were rather flimsy. My employer has a dozen 1994 models that are used. One of them got stolen three times, while the other thefts were limited to just once or twice each. They now all have "The Club" (as seen on TV!!)

Saturn S series thefts were an epidemic in South Floirda during the 1994-1997 years. Anyone with a thin screwdriver can get into the cars and steal them.

Although I've never done it, the car thieves tell me that if you cut a hole into a tennis ball and put the hole against the door lock, then punch on the ball, the air pressure will unlock the older S series.

Saturn apparently fixed this design problem when they made the change to the 1996 style. My 1997 won't start with a key if you locked it with the key fob. There is some sort of electrical thing - kind of a dollar store version of BMW's key system.

Don't feel bad though. Toyota Camrys from 1988-1991 were even easier to steal. Don't mention Chrysler products either. Almost forgot how easy Civics, Integras, and Accords were too.

I would have rather had a 1995 SL2 over my 1997, but I did not want a car that the little miscredents posing as children could steal so easily.

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Old 09-19-2001, 02:27 PM   #7
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Now that i thought about it, most people on the L series use the FOB to lock their cars. Without using the FOB to unlock the car, the alarm will go off. It will automatically shut the fuel off so you cannot even start he car with the key in the ignition. I believe you have to wait 15-30 minutes for it to "reset" and let you start the car. But a thief wouldnt sit there for a half hour to seal the car. The key is supposed to have some sort of chip on it as well. Although this is from the sales guy who told me my L series auto tranny had a partial CVT in it ... anyway, most new saturns and especially the L series have some serious anti-theft devices which make it very difficult.

The FOB does have a few faults. In case of a FOB de-sync, there is a code the FOB can send to the computer to re-set the code sequence. This is very bad since its not hard to generate this re-set and use the inital id sequence to unlock the car and get rid of the whole FOB problem.

Although there might not be a saturn black market yet (its almost comical to think about), there are many chop shops you can drive a stolen car to. These places cut down a car to basic pieces within minutes, and ship the scrap material to be sold as salvage. Although i have never stolen a car, aide in stealing, or associate with people of this type, i have met a couple of people who did that sort of thing in california. Doesnt mater if its a '88 geo or a $100,000 car... they still cut them up and sell the metal and parts.

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