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Engineer who designed the key system is a moron!

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 6/13/2016 Jack Kendrick

Overall I am very happy with my Tacoma TRD Offroad. My decision came down to the Taco or the Colorado and while in some ways the Colorado beat the Taco, I was looking for a camping, off-road, rough country performer and I felt Toyota had a superior 4WD system and was overall a more rugged vehicle. It drives great and feels unstoppable and indestructible. The Colorado would have been my choice if I was looking for a work truck that would spend most of its life on pavement. The Tacoma is the best vehicle I have ever owned.That said, the remainder of this review is going to address my very low opinion of the key system for the 2016 Tacoma. I admit that I am a little anal about keys. I need a set, my wife needs a set and there must be an emergency set. So the day my Tacoma arrived I went to the service department and ordered an extra set of keys.In my opinion, the Toyota engineer who designed this abomination should be stripped of his engineering credentials and reassigned to Fukushima clean-up duty! The design is moronic and I get the impression it was cobbled together from unwanted bits and pieces of other Toyota vehicles. And God help you if your ever need to order a duplicate set!It takes no less than THREE (3) keys to fully operate the Tacoma. I've never heard of a vehicle that required 3 different keys to operate. There is one key for the tail gate. All it does is unlock the tailgate. It is just a simple mechanical lock. Toyota does not even bother to give you an extra one; they just give you only one key. If you order a spare key you are in for a surprise. The key blank is a $30 chip key but the CHIP DOES NOT DO ANYTHING because the lock is just a simple mechanical lock. So instead of selling you a $3 blank they sell you a $30 blank with a worthless chip in it. But at least these keys can be cut locally at your dealer. I actually got this key the same day which is far better than I did with the other two keys.The doors and ignition keys need to be special ordered and they don't come quick. I pity the poor fool who loses his keys because you might not get into your vehicle for two weeks while you wait on Toyota to pull their head from the nether regions and actually come up with a replacement. It is really two keys: an electronic proximity fob and a laser-cut mechanical key which stows cleverly inside of the fob. They cost about $150 dollars EACH which is beyond obscene and totally unnecessary. To add insult to injury, the fob costs an additional $55 to program.The fob can lock and unlock the doors with a push of a fob button or if it is in close proximity allow the key-holder to unlock and lock the drivers door by swiping the driver's door handle which is pretty neat but I bet I will be cursing that thing when it fails about 20 years from now. The fob also is needed to start the vehicle and must be in proximity (your pants pocket works) of the push button start which looks to be a leftover from a Prius. The fob is what you would give to a valet attendant and pray to god he does not lose that nearly priceless piece of hardware. I finally got my extra fob about 10 days after I ordered it. Thank goodness I was not locked out of my vehicle!The mechanical laser cut key can unlock the driver's door (nice if the battery is dead), and can also unlock the glove box. You would retain this when you gave the fob to the valet attendant which is clever. But why, Why, WHY could the witless Toyota engineer not design the tailgate to use this same key? How stupid is that? And what advantage is there to this laser cutting technology where a customer in Wyoming has to wait for a key to be cut at enormous cost in Battlefield Missouri? I am failing to see or appreciate the $150 of added utility over a simple $3 mechanically cut key that I could get made in 5 minutes any hardware store locally. Three weeks after ordering, I am still waiting for my replacement key. The first one was completely the wrong blank. It was too wide to fit in the fob or the lock. The 2nd one was cut from the correct blank and fit in the fob and the door lock but was cut with completely the wrong pattern and now I am hoping that about a week from now (a month total), the third try will prove to be the charm. My local parts guy showed me the orders that he had sent in and he was ordering the right thing. It is Toyota in Battlefield that is apparently incompetent.If a set of keys is so expensive and hard to obtain, it sets off some alarm bells. I just hope that this truck does not break very often because apparently Toyota parts are both dear and scarce and their parts process is sub-standard!

Average Rating : 4

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