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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Barrow key fob mystery as drivers are stranded

A MYSTERIOUS occurrence saw people unable to gain access to their vehicles in Barrow as their key fobs all stopped working on the same day.

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LOCKED OUT Cheryll Jordan and Ian Jordan in the car park outside Matalan in Barrow, where they were unable to get into their vehicle

Andrew Lupton from Barrow found himself in some difficulty on Monday July 21 when his car refused to respond to his key fob after a shopping trip to Asda on Walney Road.

During his confusion, he was then approached by two women who also couldn’t gain access to their vehicles via their key fobs.

The trio then decided to seek advice from inside the Asda store where they were advised by a member of staff to wait 10 minutes as this had happened a few years earlier.

Mr Lupton said: “I thought that my key fob had run out of batteries and that I would have to go home and get the spare until two other ladies approached me and asked me if I had been locked out because their key fobs weren't working either.”

When they returned to their cars a few minutes later they were unlocked.

Across the road a similar incident happened to Cheryll Jordan in Matalan’s car park.

Mrs Jordan, from Roose Road, said: “We were locked out of our brand new car and we were really puzzled as the battery in the fob was hardly used.

“Two women then came over and said they couldn’t get into their cars either.

“Then one by one the cars unlocked – it was very strange.”

Lauren Pell, a spokeswoman for Asda, said: “I don’t know how this happened, but we are thinking that it may have been the heat that has affected the car fobs.”

The weather did reach a very warm 22C that day and extreme heat has been known to affect car fobs.

Mike Walker, a mechanic from B&D Motors on Chatsworth Street in Barrow said: “Heat can affect car fobs but I don’t think it would have affected that many all at the same time.

“We have heard about this happening in the area before and I think something is interfering with the frequency the car fobs use, but I don’t know what.”

The mystery has yet to be solved.

Have your say

Car keyfobs use the 433MHz bandwidth range or thereabouts, as do pretty much all other short / near field wireless devices. Something was broadcasting on that frequency and drowning out everything else. It would simply be a case of looking around when it happens next for a likely source - it won't be far away.

Posted by mrlepus on 1 August 2014 at 16:23

I blame government cutbacks. There aren't as many electrons as there used to be.

Posted by John McLean on 31 July 2014 at 14:25

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