And the best part of that whole scare of that time was that it's mostly bullshit based on one or two people who had immobiliser issues and told by the stealerdealer that the red key was ESSENTIAL. Not having it = bills of £1500 for a new system and keys. Lost blue key and no red? NEW SYSTEM, £1500 please...
The issue was normally the receiver ring that clipped on the barrel. Even new from Fiat they were about £40.
The blue keys were so low tech, they were cloneable at shoe repair shops.
And there were aftermarket chips out there that disabled the whole system.
The amount of people who have actually needed the Red Key? Probably not even 0.1% of people who owned a car with the Fiat CODE system. And likely most of them probably could have had their issue solved without it....
I'll dust of my interesting* story about Fiat red keys now you've mentioned that.
in ~2007 I bought a mk1 Fiat Punto ELX, so all the toys and the 1.6l 8v 90bhp engine, basically the top of the range one that wasn't the sporting. It was a fantastic car, the spring on the accelerator pedal came direct from a BIC ballpoint pen, it wanted to do 90mph everywhere. My brother lambasted me for speeding everywhere in it until I gave him the keys to drive it back from southwest London one evening and about halfway down the M3 he conceded that I was right and thats just the speed it wanted to do.
Anyway, I got 2 blue keys with it, but no red one. This didn't really bother me, but after clumsily getting in one day I snagged my foot in the lanyard hanging off the key in the ignition barrel and snapped it off. bumhats. Anyway, i managed to extract the snapped off bit but was down to one key.
I took the last working key into a local locksmith who charged me £20 to cut and code a new blue key. Except it wasn't, he'd run out of blue 'ends' and only had red plastic handled blanks, did I mind? Megalol, I didn't care if he whittled one from a rooftile as long as it worked, but I knew about the difference between the red and blue ones so though it'd be handy to have what appeared to be a 'genuine' red key when it came to sell.
A few months later it blew the head gasket in a massive way, idling in Tesco carpark. Had I known then what I know now I'd have tried to K-seal it, but alas I was younger and didn't know these things existed. I took it to a local 2nd hand car place (which soon after went bust) and part-ex'd it for a Mk3 golf as 'I needed something bigger' - the dealer thought he was getting a billy bargain, and even gave me an extra hundred quid trade in (£650) because I had the 'red' key. I drove off in the Golf laughing like a drain that the colour of the key fob was really the very least of the next owner's worries.
I did see it about a few months later, but never again so not sure what happened to it, they probably filled it with k-seal themselves when they realised what was wrong with it, and it probably played a part in their demise.
Karma caught up with me because I smacked a hole in the gearbox of the golf after an emergency off-roading event a couple of months later in a retail park in Brislington, necessating a replacement 2nd hand gearbox which appeared to have come from a car found in a peat bog, though it was a weird ratio and went like shit of a shovel (for a mk3 golf), though ran out of revs at 105mph, and where 70mph was about 4000rpm in 5th.
2004 Daewoo Lacetti
2004 SAAB 9-3
2003 Toyota Yaris (Currently a member of the Jim Bell automotive group)
1998 Toyota Celica ST (moved to Scotland with the Hawkeyethenoo's)
1996 Nissan Almera GX (departed)
198? Jago Geep (Now resideing chez red5)
Yeah yeah, another blog. Why I use silly hardware to mine cryptocurrency: https://piminer.home.blog/