Rogue radio station caused keyless entry systems to fail, left car owners locked out

Car Ignition Button

For months, frustrated car owners just couldn't explain it. As the Sun Sentinel explains, parking anywhere in the vicinity of the Hollywood Police Department would render their vehicle's keyless entry system useless. As more and more cars were towed away thanks to the baffling phenomenon, it was discovered that functionality returned once cars were a safe distance away from the police station. Rumors swirled as to what the cause could be, with one popular theory attributing the interference to a powerful antenna owned by police.

Authorities finally solved the mystery, however: beginning in August, a rogue radio station had been operating from the roof of a building just one block away from police headquarters. Aside from broadcasting Caribbean music 24 / 7 to those in range, the station was also blocking the signal between electronic key fobs and their designated vehicles. Cars from Lexus, Toyota, BMW, Ford, and others were impacted by the unauthorized frequency override, though police don't think whoever was behind the station realized the trouble it was causing. Even so, should they succeed in locating the person responsible for setting up the now-confiscated equipment, he or she could face a $10,000 fine from the FCC. The resolution is likely good news to local residents, some of whom were forced to dig out their car's manual to learn how to unlock their doors the old-fashioned way.

The Verge
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