The Immobilizer—The New World of Anti-Theft Technology
All VW vehicles are now equipped with a state of the art electronic Immobilizer anti-theft system. The critical component in this system is a sophisticated electronic anti-theft device—the Immobilizer. The Immobilizer activates when the ignition key is removed and, together with the engine control unit, largely prevents unauthorized starting of the engine. The Immobilizer interacts with a transmitter and receiver unit (transponder) in the ignition key. Whenever an attempt is made to start the engine, the Immobilizer transmits a new code to the car's electronics. The Immobilizer keeps the ignition, fuel and steering systems locked unless a key with the proper code is used to start the vehicle.
The Smart Key—Yours and yours alone
Even an exact physical duplicate of a key cannot start the vehicle unless the key's transponder and the vehicle's Immobilizer have been coded to each other. Securely encrypted and constantly changing electronic codes match your specific key with your vehicle’s onboard computer.
No security system can provide 100% protection against theft, and thieves may be able to overcome the electronic immobilizer. However, objective data have demonstrated a dramatic reduction in theft rates in vehicles equipped with Immobilizer and smart key technology. For these systems to be effective, the codes that are unique to a particular key and a particular vehicle cannot be allowed to fall into unauthorized hands. At the same time, vehicle owners who have lost or misplaced their sets of keys need to be able to obtain replacements in the most convenient manner possible, while preserving the security of key coding information.
Replacing a transponder key can be costly. Coding a replacement key for your vehicle requires specialized equipment available only to your VW dealer and to certain independent repair facilities and locksmiths that are qualified to make remote control keys. This equipment can also be used to disable a key which is lost or stolen by reprogramming the remaining keys to the vehicle. In addition, because all key programming accesses a single secure database, a permanent record is generated whenever a replacement key is coded to a particular vehicle.
For a list of independent facilities authorized for the limited purpose of replacing keys for Volkswagen vehicles or your nearest dealer, click the link below. VW dealers and independent repair facilities and locksmiths are independent businesses which set their own prices for keys and coding services.