Left without a key

This article is of personal interest to me as the key to my vehicle was one of those taken. In addition to that, my rear license plate with the ICBC decal was also stolen. My vehicle was in the service department of the dealership for a repair to the hand brake as of Thursday, the 10th of August and was awaiting parts when this break in occurred sometime between closing Saturday evening and opening Monday morning. I was only notified that my license plate had been taken when I called the service department to find out the status of the repairs. I was told to call ICBC to report this, which I did. They advised me that I had to notify the police and then bring the police file number, the front license plate and the insurance papers to an autoplan office, pay $18.00, sign some papers and get new plates and a new decal.

As the insurance papers and front license plate were with the vehicle, I went to the dealership to get them. It was at that time that the service staff informed me that my key had also been stolen. I was later told about the break in and that a car, yes a single car, had been stolen and several other customers' keys as well. 

The following day I returned to the dealership and was given the insurance papers and the front license plate and their police file number for this incident. I proceeded to replace the license plate and decal and returned with that to the service department. 

I was then advised that they would reprogram the key system with a new key so that the thief could not easily steal my vehicle. However that would not keep said thief or any of his cohorts from entering the vehicle by using the key manually and taking anything therein. I have requested that the locks be replaced, to date this seems to be something the powers that be are reluctant to do as it is a costly procedure. It has been suggested that instead they rekey the locks and that I use a separate key for the doors than the one used for the ignition. This is not acceptable to me as the vehicle is designed to operate without having to cart around excess hardware. It also diminishes the resale value of the vehicle, and is simply not the proper solution.  

The dealer has been clear that the waiver I signed when I brought my car in for service exempts them from damages due to theft. However that is somewhat void if the theft is due to negligence on their part. The dealer does have a secure locked compound for vehicles, they chose not to put my vehicle there. I do not know why nor at this point do I particularly care. It seems they treated my vehicle with cavalier disregard and now choose not to properly address and fix the problem they have created.  

While I have been told that they had a security system of some sort in place at the time of this episode, it seems to have failed them. I feel they should take responsibility for that failure or address the issue with the security company. I should not be left either short changed or with a great feeling of insecurity due to this issue. I do not know what the other customers whose keys are also apparently in the hands of a thief, or more than one thief if two cars were stolen are feeling, but they may not be aware of all the implications of this theft for them personally. 

Perhaps it would be more honourable of the dealer to address this with each customer and do the right thing.

Susan Shawlee

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