Carbondale, Illinois
Not resolved

I have a 2004 GMC Canyon, purchased new in Feb. 2004.

It is equipped with the GM passkey II system. This is intended to act as a theft deterrent by shutting down the flow of gas to the fuel injectors if someone attempts to start the vehicle with a key which does not properly register electronically with a starting module in the vehicle. The customers key has an embedded chip which sends an electronic signal to the starting module. If the signal received is misread the vehicle will not start.

The problem is that after about 5-7 years the system starts to fail and does not properly read this electronic signal, thereby shutting down the flow of fuel to the fuel injectors. As a result, the consumer, using an original key, cannot start the vehicle without first resorting to a ten minute procedure to insert the key in the ignition, turn it to the accessory position and waiting until the module re-registers the key. Instead of acting as a theft deterrent, it acts as a consumer deterrent! An internet search, using the phrase "GM passkey II problems" will turn up hundreds of disgruntled consumer complaints.

This is an inherent design flaw in all GM vehicles produced since approximately 2000. Consumers report going to their GM dealerships and being charged $450-700 to replace either the starting module or the ignition switch, only to have the problem re-occur moths later. A private auto mechanic will refuse to work on the problem to by-pass the passkey II system for fear of lawsuits by insurance companies if the vehicle is subsequently stolen. I spoke with a GM representative today after filing an internet complaint with GM.

I was told GM would not do anything unless I first took my vehicle to a GM dealer for a diagnostic check (at my expense) since the vehicles warranty has expired. In light of the nationwide magnitude of this problem, and the impotency of the consumer (other than boycotting GM products in the future), I feel a nationwide recall of all GM vehicles equipped with this passkey II system is warranted.

Product or Service Mentioned: General Motors Warranty.

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I couldn't agree more!! I encourage you and anyone else who is reading this to call the DOT Auto Safety Hotline and file a complaint.

The call is toll free and will result in their engineers investigating this issue.

Dial 1-888-327-4236. There is strength in numbers....if you want to make GM responsible for this defect, call the hotline a lodge a complaint!


We must ALL refuse to buy any car that comes with a Passlock or any other theft device on it. You are not dealing with a car ,,,this is a computer you are babysitting ,It will never ,ever work like a car. We have to put an end to this.