1. #1
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    Default Keyless Ignitions and 16 Feet?

    Whenever discussion of keyless ignitions comes up, it always seems that some firefighter has heard about the "16 foot rule". Turns out that there are many Urban Legends about keyless ignitions and this is one of them.

    Rumor has it that moving a key fob from a keyless ignition vehicle more than 16 feet away from the car will shut down the engine. This is NOT true. The 16-foot distance comes from the original operating range of Toyota and Lexus when they first introduced their keyless ignition systems.

    So what happens if you do have the key fob and you do move it some distance away fro a car that is running? You may get an alarm or visual display in the instrument panel but other than that, the car will keep running until someone shuts it off.

    What having the key fob away from the car does do is NOT allow it to be re-started once it is shut off.

    I rented a Volvo S60 and experimented with its keyless ignition. The distance that the fob must be within in order to start the car was very short. I sat in the driver's seat and could not start the car if I held the key fob at arm's reach out the driver's window.

    Forget about moving the key fob 16 feet away like you've heard about. With keyless ignitions, it doesn't matter where the key fob is for us as responders. Once you shut off the ignition, just don't have anyone put their foot on the brake and try to start the car again. Other than that key or keyless...we can handle it.

    image: With the key fob held out the window, the car stated "Key Cannot be Found!" and would not start. The engine can be shut down no matter even if the keyless ignition key fob is inside the car.
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    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

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    Good advise: "Stop seachring for key fobs". I would like to add, that a good way to prohibit restarting of the vehicle is disconnecting the vehicle's 12 Volt system. With the 12 Volt battery disconnected pushing the start-button will do nothing anymore, even with the key fob inside the vehicle.

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    What about the following concerns:

    Some vehicles automatically adjust settings based on the smart key used to unlock the car: user preferences such as seat positions, steering wheel position, exterior mirror settings, climate control temperature settings, and stereo presets are popular adjustments.

    There is the possibility that if the key fob is removed the seat settings etc may move back to their pre set position if the power has not been isolated, aggravating the casualties injuries.

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    No. What you are suggesting is not exactly true. The range of the key fob isn't what will reset a driver's seat or steering column or mirror adjustment. What might move a seat for example, is shutting off the ignition. That's the trigger; not the key fob range.

    It is a concern with newer vehicle technologies that just turning off the ignition, whether it has a key or is keyless, the memory function will kick in and move things a bit because the 12-volt power is still intact. I don't care about the mirror or the radio station but the seat and the steering column might be something to catch my attention. I'll take that chance and shut off the ignition anyway with the battery still intact. The large majority of occupants usually set the memory function once and leave it there throughout their time with the car anyway.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

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    Ron good points:
    Here is some similar info that may be of interest:

    For Mercedes-Benz vehicles an electronic easy entry/exit is available as special equipment.
    When the driver door is opened (ignition off) or when the electronic key is removed, the steering column is moved all the way up. The driver seat may be moved to the rear at the same time. When closing the driver door, the steering column and driver seat are automat-ically reset to the last adopted position

    some keyless vehicles will automatically lock the doors when the fob is a certain distance from the vehicle, this itself could cause issues if we haven't managed the battery at that stage.

    look at this video of the engine being started remotely

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtaE-...layer_embedded
    Last edited by jonnycutter; 10-02-2013 at 09:21 AM.

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    Nice info. Thanks for sharing. Just an example of the new technologies we have to deal with. Actually had a Batt Chief tell me he 'throws the keys as far away as he can'! I said "You're not understanding keyless ignition systems at all. Go get better educated."

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    My wife used to have a car with keyless ignition. It could tell if the FOB was inside or outside the vehicle and would not let you lock the car (from the outside) if the fob was inside. The opposite is probably true as well: The car may not let you start the ignition if it detects the fob is outside the vehicle (but still in range).

    My jeep had entry assist and memory.. if I unlock the car with my fob the seats go to my preferences. My wife's go to hers. Removing the keys cause the seats, pedals, and column to move.

    Moral of the story? Pushing buttons causes things to happen. Don't do that. Assign someone to control the Fob (a good role for PD) and don't push any buttons.

    A bigger problem with keyless systems is that we may not be able to find them after an accident. They won't be in the ignition. Are they in the patients pocket? Purse? Thrown to the backseat?
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