• May 24, 2007
If you have a 2007 Nissan Altima or a 2007 Infiniti G35 Sedan, you might want to keep your mobile phone in a different pocket than your car's fancy I-Key fob. The fobs, as you're probably well aware by now, enable and disable the cars' keyless ignition systems. According to Nissan, the problem is that if the fob is touched by a cellphone while a call is in progress, the software that controls the I-Key's automagic goodness could be altered or erased, rendering it useless. Furthermore, the damage is not reversible, and the I-Key simply becomes landfill fodder.
Nissan's modifying the key to correct the issue, and will provide new ones to owners once it's straightened it all out. According to the AP, this'll happen sometime in the fall. In the meantime, some dealers are stocking up on spares just in case, and you'd be advised to follow Nissan's advice and keep a little distance between the key and your phone. After all, you don't want the simple act of pressing the Start button to turn into an exercise in futility -- especially over something as mundane as checking your voice mail.

[Source: AP]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I've done some software QA so I'm curious about the testing done on systems like this.

      One simple thing about manual keys is that you always know where the key is when the car is running.

      With a touchless ignition system a few things can happen:

      1. Two people get in the car, both have a key to the same car in their pocket. The range must account for a women putting her purse on the seat instead of having it in her pocket.

      Which key does the car "use" to start the car?
      What happens if the passenger key is the active key and they get out of the car?

      2. One driver, one key

      What happens if the key leaves the car? (Tossed out the window? Dropped out of the door when you open the door for some reason?) Anyone with a small child understands that little fingers get a hold of all sorts of things. Does the car drop dead in the middle of the road or does it continue to drive?

      3. What happens if I start my car then realize that I forgot something in the house?

      Assuming it's "safe" to do so, I will sometimes leave the car running and go in the house. Will the system allow this? If the car shuts off when I get X feet from the sensor that could be interesting. What if the car doesn't shut off, and I forget my old-n-busted manual key in my front door. Can I drive away only to find that my car can't be started later at my destination?


      I'm certain that these and other use cases were thought of, but I don't know the answers, and they will likely be different for each car. So not only are there direct possible problems, there are also impacts on how a driver interacts with their new car.

      -Mike
        • 7 Years Ago
        As for the G35:
        1. As long as one key is in the front seat area of the car, no problem - all will work as expected.
        2. if the key leaves the car, the car keeps running. No problems until it's turned off - then it will need a key to start up again.
        3. You can leave and go back into the house with the car left running. If you then leave you keys back on your house lock and drive off, you will not be able to start again once you turn off the car. It will however, beep and flash a red 'No Key' warning as you as you drive away.
      • 7 Years Ago
      it should be: in 10 years when your car is old
      • 7 Years Ago
      Do you folks realize that many of the "mechanical metal" keys these days are already electronic? Your passive anti-theft system relies on some kind of electronic signal or your car won't start.

      You can't get these keys made at a hardware store, and the defect in the Nissan key could have just as easily been in one of these "old fashioned" keys.

      Get with the times. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Many people love it. You usually don't have the option to leave out the passive anti-theft system, so which is the bigger potential problem?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I had this with my '05 Murano and I loved it. When it is snowing out and you have big gloves on or while carrying groceries, it is so nice not to have to fish out my keys out of my pockets. It is not something that I would make sure every one of my cars had, but I do miss it sometimes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      i have no particular problem with the keyfobs, agree that Nissan's is way better than BMWs, but like rain-sensing wipers, it's only saving milliseconds when there are other time wasting (and money wasting) and satisfaction destroying parts of cars that need worked on like the "check engine" light.

      Quit wasting time futzing around with easier keyless entry and rain-sensing wipers, and work on the big time wasters.


      • 7 Years Ago
      Those key fobs are unfortunately coming to all locks near you. House, work, garden sheds, storage containers, security systems. Soon everything will be electronic.

      Imagine how high your homeowners insurance rates will be in the near future because any 14 year old will be able to hack your locks when... these same kids have NO IDEA how to pick a lock and disable your security system.

      Just because we can do it... doesn't mean we should.

      But back on topic... You actually think the designers and system programmers would have thought of "cellular devices, or magnetic devices". Idiots! ha ha ha ha.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have a g35 and love this feature. Unlike the BMW, all you do is leave the key in your pocket. The button on the door handle is right where your thumb falls so it's little different from just opening your door. I have it set to unlock all doors so I never need to push it twice (which I find annoying) Once, in, foot on the brake, press start and your good to go.

      If, for some reason, you want to puch fob buttons to lock and unlock, you can do that instead.

      Oh, and if the battery dies for some reason, there's a mechanical key hidden inside the fob to unlock the door and slot in the dash to put the fob into and again, off you go.

      I heard from an infiniti rep that they have had some trouble with razr phones but that was the only detail I got.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Gavin,

      Your second post indicates I struck a nerve. That indicates to mke who the fool is. I just pointed it out and the truth hurts. You are change a verse in an ever-changing world... you're a dinosaur, and people tell you that every day. Get with the program or just go ahead and give up. But don't lash out at people who get it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm just worried about the battery dying, locking me out of my car. IIRC, the Altima's doors don't have a normal keyhole. If either the car or the fob run out of battery power, how do I get into the car?

      Nissan's ignition is ok - it actually could conceivably save you time once you get used to it. Of course, some of the other ones on the market make you stick the key in a hole in the dash and *then* press the button - which feels more complicated than simply turning the key
      • 7 Years Ago
      "I hate those keyless entry fobs. There is a point when there is too much tech in new cars. I have no problem simply pushing a button on my current keyfob to open my doors."

      I hate those automatic transmissions... I have no problem just pushing in the clutch and changing gears manually.

      I hate those automatic garage door openers... how hard is it just to get out and pull them up?

      I hate those new motorized vehicles... my trusty horse always starts and is easier to take care of.

      I hate those new houses... I liked my cave so much better, and it's natural.

      For every change and technological improvement, there will be the change averse and those who dig in their heels in resistance to it. Don't hire these people. If they ran things we'd still have segregation, only men voting and an English monarchy running the US. LOL
        • 7 Years Ago
        So thinking keyless fobs are unnecessary makes me the equivalent to a racist? Gee you must be a blast at dinner parties.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Gale, you made a fool of yourself with that post.
          • 7 Years Ago
          Actually, I thought Gale had it spot on (and humorously, too). "I have no problem simply pushing a button on my current key fob..."? So you are willing to give up your old-school key for some functions, but not others?

          I like the key-less fobs. Until we get some sort of biometric access to lock and start functions (with memory recognition of all my favorite stations/seating/mirrors etc.!) , this is great tech.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Those key fobs are the stupidest things. We have an '06 330i with this dumb feature. Now it is a three step process to start a damn car. What's wrong with inserting the key and turning it to start the car? Another indication of technology not being practical.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I hate those keyless entry fobs. There is a point when there is too much tech in new cars. I have no problem simply pushing a button on my current keyfob to open my doors.
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