Car keys have gone high tech, and replacing one is no longer a quick, inexpensive trip to the hardware store. A Consumer Reports electronics engineer found that out the hard way. While at the beach, he forgot that the key to his Toyota Prius was in his pocket, went for a dip in the surf, and never saw the key again. The cost of a replacement: $600.
Like many new cars, his Prius uses a proximity key that electronically unlocks the car when you touch the door handle and lets you start it by pressing a button on the dash. But even less sophisticated keys don’t come cheap.