Hacker helped a Canadian family recover their car after nearly two months, and after losing the unique wagon keys.
The story begins in May this year when John and Mary Hughins, a couple from the city of Sorei in Canada, bought a used Toyota Estima mini van imported from Japan by a local car dealership.
When it got the car, the couple received only one key, unlike most car owners who take two or three. The couple unfortunately did not know that the car uses a single key.
A month later, on June 2, the couple took a family trip to Victoria City, where they lost the key while they were walking in the city. John suspects he lost the key while he bent to tie one of his son's shoes.
Family breaks were interrupted when they realized they did not have the key. But things got even worse when the car dealership told them they could not reproduce the lost key, nor did the delegations in the US and Japan.
In a desperate situation, the family turned to the local press for help. Their story became viral when a local newspaper, Victoria Buzz, published their story asking for help on Facebook.
"This vehicle is Japanese, imported, with an advanced locking system, and the key has a chip inside that can not be reproduced by the representative of Toyota in North America," Higgins wrote in a Facebook post.
"I bought the car a month ago from a representative on the mainland, which left me to believe I would have to get a second key from Japan in a few weeks after our purchase," he added. "That did not happen. As the manager informed me, most cars sold at an auction in Japan come with only one key and have not received anything from the auction ever since. "
The pair offered a 500 dollar fee for finding and returning their car keys, but nothing happened. In a desperate attempt, the family even tried to throw shiny objects on the ground so the crows would take them and take them to their nest in the hope of finding them there.
The family car remained parked in Victoria for almost two weeks before finally being towed to a local engineer's garage.
Speaking in local press, the family said that many people offered to hack the mini-van, but refused their help without any kind of professional guarantee. Local engineers did not recommend letting a hacker hurt the car, as there was a risk of permanently destroying the entire car. The problem comes from a hybrid Toyota engine system.
"In the hybrid system, the engine can work but the wheels are connected to an electric motor that charges the battery. If, for example, the wheels spin, but the computer is not set up properly to recognize it, the batteries could be charged until they explode, "said Hughs in a local newspaper. "If it was just a LPG engine, that would be a different story."
For the past two months, the family borrowed a car from a family member, but eventually decided that something had to happen and the family agreed to become a hacker in the car despite the fear of permanent damage.
So the car dealership has set up a reputable engineer from the city of Richmond in the family. The engineer worked with a hacker who asked the local press not to mention his real name.
The hacker and engineer broke the window, got into the car, stripped his dashboard, and connected several cables and chips to the main dashboard of the car. Eventually, they managed to reach the immobilazer and reprogram it to work with new keys.
The Hughins family received three new keys for her car, but it was not free. Overall, all this test cost the family almost 3.500 US dollars, (2.350 for manual labor, 600 dollars for scheduling new keys, and 550 dollars for towing costs).
Luckily for the four-member family, the car dealership that imported and sold the mini-van, agreed to pay half the cost.
The family told the local press that they saved one of the three new keys in a bank safe, just to make sure that it did not happen again.
In the end, it's not to happen to you… ..