The automotive and heavy-duty aftermarket picked up a victory in California today as the state’s House voted down a bill that would have restricted access to electronic key codes. The SB 750 bill was sponsored by BMW and had hoped to limit access to electronic key codes to automakers and dealer networks, shutting out locksmiths and independent third-party service providers. The vote failed by 29-25 margin.
Under the leadership of CAWA, industry advocates and AAA successfully communicated concerns about drivers being inconvenienced and often stranded in dangerous situations because they were not able to obtain a replacement key from a locksmith due to automakers refusal to provide this information, the organized says. In addition, CAWA says it argued the bill was anti-consumer and anti-competitive.
“The key is much more than the instrument that enables one to start their vehicle,” says Steve Sharp of WORLDPAC and CAWA Chair of the Board. “The key is coded with security information that is tied into the vehicles computer system and will disable a number of auto components including in some cases the transmission, making the vehicle immobile as well as preventing a vehicle from being started after certain major repairs.”