- FOBIK© Key Fob.

Innovation Has Its Downfalls.

The issues surrounding the FOBIK© Key that Daimler-Chrysler took into possession in 2008.

36w ago

If you bought a Mercedes-Benz or a Chrysler product between 2008 and 2013, you might remember a similar fashioned key to the one listed above. What owners of these keys may also remember are the issues that were associated with them. From deprogramming to buttons not working or the key being unresponsive to the action. Such as the lock controls or opening the trunk. In this article, we explain just what the Executive minds' were thinking when making the transition from keys and key fobs to an all-in-one system and why the key had many problems.

Starting back in 2008, Daimler-Chrysler was among many other industries that were impacted by the global recession. Vehicle sales were down across all brands among the two companies. However, Daimler-Chrysler introduced a new and innovative solution to starting your automobile called the FOBIK© Key Fob, an all-in-one solution that eliminated the need for a traditional key. Operating on radio frequency allowed you to start, lock, unlock and control certain vehicles' trunk. As well as starting the engine remotely. This new innovative idea allowed for reducing clutter, as all you need now was a key fob rather than a key and a fob. It was this key that brought the promise of a new convenient way of operating your vehicle. It also enhanced vehicle security as the ignition was now electronically controlled and couldn't easily be stolen with a screwdriver or a lock pick. It provided promise to the future of starting your automobile.

2009 Ram 1500 FOBIK© Ignition.

2009 Ram 1500 FOBIK© Ignition.

Why the FOBIK© Key Fob Became a Problem.

As an owner of a vehicle equipped with the FOBIK© Key Fob system, I can state with great confidence that there are issues with the key system. Other owners have expressed the same concerns. Chrysler's transition away from FOBIK© key fobs to Keyless Enter-N-Go© systems upon the new merger of Fiat and Chrysler was an improvement. However, for now, let's look at the issues raised in using the FOBIK© key fob system.

1. The Life Expectancy.

The most you ever think about maintenance wise with your key fob is changing the battery. However, FOBIK© keys tended to have a short life-span. According to various sources, the life expectancy of one of these keys ranges and were from "3 to 7 years". That can be very problematic. A Chrysler dealership can charge you an upwards of 250 dollars for a brand new key fob, depending on where you go. While it's unclear what Mercedes-Benz's key fob replacement fees are, it can go in speculation to suggest that it would be more based on the brand name. Further, it is unjust for a car owner to be forced into replacing their key every three years at a high price. While some may assume that it is just a factor of maintenance for the vehicle, it's not in honesty. It is the responsibility of the vehicle manufacturer to supply a product that is free of defects. If it does have imperfections, then it is imperative to impose a recall of affect products. However, in the case of the FOBIK© key fob, it is not covered under the vehicle warranty, and even if it was, you might not experience problems until after the warranty has run out.

2. They Are Cheaply Manufactured.

It doesn't surprise that your automotive manufacturer tries to cut corners where it can, to save money. However, many owners have come to experience an inevitable flaw that you should never cheap out on the vehicle’s key. It's fair that with technological innovation, it does come at sometimes a high cost. Chipped keys were sufficient; every automotive brand had them equipped to their vehicles by 2005. Although to stay on top of the competition, you must always be updating and innovating the brand. Furthermore, along with their varied life expectancies, the fob keys tended to become worn, and the buttons would eventually stop working. This was a primary concern for owners as the fob controls are the main way of entering your vehicle. The key fob comes equipped with a lock-out key that is inserted into the bottom of the fob. However, if you have to unlock the vehicle every time with that key, it defeats the purpose of having a keyless entry system.

3. They Had a Deprogramming Fault.

It has been seen that these key fobs can deprogram as a result of excessive use (sort of defeats the purpose of owning a car if you're limited on how much you can drive it). This issue has not occurred on factory keys as much as aftermarket keys. However, it is still a recurring issue. An issue that has been addressed, but no definite answer has been given.

FOBIK© Is Still Used Today. It Has, However, Gotten Better.

Yes, that is correct. Daimler-Benz and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles still use FOBIK© keys. However, they're not the same as before. They have been redesigned as a new system. This system is called KEYLESS Enter-N-Go© (FCA) and KEYLESS-GO© (Daimler-Benz).

Keyless Enter-N-Go© Key Fob.

Keyless Enter-N-Go© Key Fob.

While you can still, on certain RAM 1500 Classic models, get the old style of the key fob, the new systems are less prone to issues. A majority of vehicles, if not all, offered by Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler, are equipped standard with push-start ignition systems. This eliminates the need for key fobs that need to be inserted into the ignition. This new system allows you to unlock and lock your vehicle without using the remote if you are nearby. It also allows you to start the vehicle without inserting a key. That is a major plus, as you no longer need to search through your pockets to find your vehicle key. It is unclear at this time as to what the issues with the new access entail, but I'm fairly certain in a given time, it proves itself to be better than the last key fob.

Mercedes-Benz KEYLESS-GO© Key Fob.

Mercedes-Benz KEYLESS-GO© Key Fob.


Innovation has surely proven to us to have its quirks and faults, as demonstrated with the FOBIK© key fob. However, it is imperative to emphasize that like any piece of technology that is new, it is a learning experience for both the owner and the manufacturer of it. In a given time, FOBIK© has proven to us that they have been noble enough to push through the issues presented with the previous key and finally deliver a solution to all of the presented problems.

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Comments (6)

  • My dad has a 2012 Ram 3500 with this key fob. One day on the freeway the truck’s Cummins Diesel engine stop running all of the sudden. When he pulled over he realized that the key fob popped out out the ignition! 😂😂 what a crappy key fob

      8 months ago
    • That might actually be the retaining ring in the ignition switch. There was a recall for that on the the minivans.

        7 months ago
  • I was one of the lucky ones who never encountered that fault. With radio controls used for keys rather than old fashioned metal contacts, I somewhat expect that. Fun fact, Ford's chipped old fashioned keys die more frequently and automatically trigger PATS. I see this on a monthly basis in the fleet I maintain.

      7 months ago
  • Yep. Had a Town and Country with this key fob. And we had to buy a new fob for it.

      8 months ago