2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Finally Getting the Right Keys, Weeks 4-6
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on October 5, 2016
The fourth week of our epic 2017 Chrysler Pacifica key saga (Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3) began when I called Moe at Russell Westbrook CDJR on Tuesday afternoon to ask about the blank physical keys. He replied that between the time he placed the order on Saturday and today, the new blanks had been relegated to backorder status by Chrysler. There was no way of knowing when the keys would be sent to the dealer. Because the existing physical keys were not matched to our car, if the battery in the fob happened to fail, the driver would be out of luck.
I called Joe on Friday (his next working day) to follow up. I expressed my concerns about waiting indefinitely, and floated another idea. If at least three of our existing keys were cut the same way (as I believed they were), would it be possible to have somebody at the dealership remove the tumblers and set the pins to match the keys? Joe said he would look into it and call me back by the end of the day.
The call never came. I attempted to reach Joe throughout the following week and finally got ahold of him on Friday afternoon. He apologized and explained that Moe was supposed to call me back earlier in the week. I then talked to Moe, who confirmed the blanks were still on backorder from Chrysler, but the dealer could source a locksmith who could set the pins to match our keys.
The Pacifica was out of town through the weekend and would return the following Wednesday, so I set the appointment for Thursday morning. Vehicle Testing Assistant Mike Massey volunteered to return to the dealership, as it's between his house and the office.
Massey arrived at 8 a.m. and was informed of a slight change of schedule. The dealer had two blank physical keys on hand. Moe looked up the VIN and had the keys cut according to the schematic or code (which is what should have happened the first time, as the keys in our faux-KeySense keys appeared to match the one in the KeySense fob that didn't work). With that, Massey left the dealer with a fresh set of perfectly working physical keys fitted into the faux-KeySense fobs.
He called Schmidt to check in. They talked things over and agreed it would be difficult to explain the vast number of KeySense-branded keys to whoever buys the Pacifica after its time in our fleet is over. Plus, just on principle, the keys should be exactly how they would have been if everything hadn't been mixed up in the first place. They decided to ask Moe to do us a solid and get two Chrysler-branded keys that functioned normally.
Massey went back to Russell Westbrook and brought his request to Moe. Moe didn't hesitate and said he could fulfill our wish. They had one such fob on hand, but a second would have to be sourced from a nearby supplier. Moe put in the order and had the second fob the next day. Massey arrived bright and early, waited for the key to be programmed, and that was it.
After six weeks, the Pacifica saga was finally over. We now have two fully functional standard Chrysler fobs, one KeySense fob that works as intended and more keys in various states of operation. Here's the full breakdown:
Current key count: 7
Chrysler-branded keys (fobs don't work, keys don't work): 2
KeySense-branded keys (fob works in KeySense mode, key works): 1
KeySense-branded keys (fob works in Normal mode, keys don't work): 2
Chrysler-branded keys (fob works in Normal mode, keys work): 2
Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor @ 2,600 miles