• BMW began using transponder keys on all models in 1995, with the exception of some 3 Series with followed shortly.
  • Mercedes uses transponder systems on all 1997 and up models.
  • Volvo uses transponder immobilization on all cars 1999 and up, except for the large trucks.


    Currently, all three of these auto makers have exclusive control of replacement keys.

    BMW uses a "rolling code" transponder which changes value each time the key is used. There are 10 unique chips programmed into the immobilization system when each car is manufactured. A certain number of keys are provided when the car is purchased, and additional keys must be ordered through a dealer. Once all 10 keys are supplied, there can be no more provided and certain components of the immobilizer system must be replaced.

    Mercedes uses a rolling code system, with keys which must be ordered through Mercedes distribution.

    Volvo uses a proprietary system which requires the vehicle to be connected to dealership diagnostic equipment for key programming.

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