Lead from behindit's
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: United Kingdom
County: Vale of Glamorgan
I agree that Alfa do seem to be taking a major liberty on the key charges, but they are under commercial pressure from insurance companies to reduce car theft, ( like every other manufacturer). Gone are the days when you could start a ford with a screwdriver, if the lock was worn enough.
Few people realise, there is no requirement for a locksmith to be registered, in fact they run courses in some prisons for the offenders. You may be trusting your prized possessions, house and contents or car, to absolutely anybody.
The average car thief is not going to stump up £400 to have a key cut, but if it was £40 then that may be an option. I have worked in the repossession industry and in higher security. Gaining access to something is relatively easy, the best defence is to shift attention to an easier target.
The laser cut keys that Alfa use are quite good, as were the V shaped cuts on earlier models, but that is just the physical side of the mechanism, they can be picked open with the correct tools quite quickly or bi-passed all together. The electronics adds additional protection to compliment the physical side. However electronic systems are prone to hacking, and by keeping the codes a secret the manufacturer feels they are doing the best they can.
As new cars come out auto locksmiths do spend time trying to overcome the security issues on cars to give the service to us. The problem with this is the locksmith may get a lot of demand for Fords, Vauxhauls etc, but less so for Alfas ( that is the price of exclusivity). Basic supply and demand I am afraid, the manufacturers of tools and equipment to make new after market keys either won't invest for the research or charge a higher premium.
Sorry I know this is a bit of a rant and it damn well hurts to have to pay so much.
I will gladly have a word with some of my contacts who are still in the trade and see what is being, or can be done. Funnily I am in the same boat, with only one key at present, which is why I read the thread in the first place.
If I was really insane, someone would notice