The days of jimmying the door after locking your keys in the car are over. And forget the locksmith. With the majority of cars today using electronic key systems, many will refer you back to the automaker for help.
A gamut of states and the locksmith industry are working to make key codes more readily available. The states of California and Maryland, for example, have introduced legislation that would require automakers to set up systems by 2008 that would allow vehicle owners and lessees 24/7 access to their keys' information for locksmiths to make duplicates. The locksmith industry is developing devices that either bypass the electronic key such as code breakers to low-tech lockable “key vaults” for spares hidden under the car.

[More after the jump]

[Source: Wall Street Journal]
The automotive industry, in general, opposes easier access to their codes, arguing the inconvenience suffered by car owners waiting to get spare keys or even access to their vehicle is nothing compared to having their vehicle stolen. But with AAA showing that locked vehicles are the second highest reason customers call for assistance, several car makers are taking other approaches to deal with the issue. Some are working with locksmiths to develop a registration system where the locksmith, once verified as a member, can call the automaker for the necessary information. General Motors uses its Onstar service to remotely unlock a car, as well.

A more thorough discussion of the alternatives and technologies to unlock cars can be found at the link.

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