New Releases from Ilco

May 10, 2022
Keys and software are rolling out after a mostly quiet year.

After having been relatively quiet as far as producing new product, Kaba Ilco has revved up its engines.

The automotive arm of dormakaba, which includes key brand Ilco, key-machine brand Silca and programmer brand Advanced Diagnostics, had been a regular producer of new remotes and software, but that stopped toward the end of 2020.

After March 2021, Ilco produced only a single remote keyless entry fob — for multiple Mercedes-Benz vehicles — for the next eight months. On the Advanced Diagnostics side, it released no new software for 11 months after September 2020.

The reasons for the silence were twin culprits that have affected the entire security industry for the past year and a half, according to Todd Adams, product manager of automotive for North America at Kaba Ilco: the COVID pandemic and ensuing delays as a result of production bottlenecks.

“With COVID, a lot of people were working remotely and not in the office,” he says. “It gets difficult for an engineer to do his thing when he’s sitting in a home office versus in his lab where he has all the tools at his disposal.”

The dam finally broke in fall 2021. Since then, Ilco has released five pieces of software, the latest in March 2022, as well as nearly 100 models of remotes.

Adams expects the releases to continue more regularly again, adding that the company is increasing staff to help to produce more product. With that in mind, here’s what’s new with Kaba Ilco.

Ilco Look-Alike Remotes

A flood of new remotes — 70 total — were released in November 2021, and 22 more were expected to be released by the time you read this.

Adams says the latest batch of keys, which were expected to be released in April 2022, will include coverage for late-model Fords, including the Explorer and F-150, Lexus up to 2021 and up to the 2021 Ram 1500, among other vehicles.

“Those are the big hitters,” Adams says. “There’s going to be some good stuff in there.”

All of the releases are part of Ilco’s Look-Alike line of aftermarket keys and cover a wide gamut of models and model-years. The two releases included:
  • Twenty models for Fiat Chrysler (three-, four-, five-, six- and seven-button fobs) that cover the 2008-2016 Chrysler Town & Country, the 2008-2019 Dodge Grand Caravan, the 2015–2021 Jeep Compass and the 2013-2021 Ram 1500, among others.
  • Sixteen models for Toyota (three-, four- and five-button remote head or flip keys and three- or four-button fobs) that cover various vehicles, including the 2002-2009 Lexus SC430, the 2018-2021 Lexus NX300, the 2004-2009 Toyota Prius, the 2012-2020 Prius and the 2012-2017 Toyota Camry.
  • Thirteen models for Nissan (three-, four- and five-button fobs) that cover the 2016-2021 Nissan Titan, the 2013-2021 Nissan Pathfinder and the 2014-2018 Infiniti Q70, among others.
  • Thirteen models for Ford (three- and four-button remote head or flip keys, and three-, four- and five-button fobs) that cover Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand vehicles. Ford brand vehicles covered include the 2015-2021 Bronco, the 2012-2020 Escape, the 2019-2021 Explorer, the 2013-2020 Fusion, the 2018-2020 Mustang and the 2014-2021 Transit Connect. Two fobs cover older model Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand vehicles from 1995-2006 model-years.
  • Ten models for Hyundai (four-button flip keys and three- and four-button fobs) that cover the 2009-2014 Hyundai Genesis Sedan, the 2009-2013 Kia Optima and the 2016-2020 Kia Sorento, among others.
  • Nine models for General Motors (four- and five-button remote head or flip keys and four- and five-button fobs) that cover Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC brand vehicles, including the 2011-2017 Buick Regal and the 2010-2019 Chevrolet Camaro. Four models cover 1997-2004 models and include vehicles from defunct brands Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn.
  • Four four-button fobs for BMW that cover various models, including the 2009-2018 5-Series, the 2014-2018 X3 and the 2014-2018 X5.
  • Two four-button fobs for Subaru that cover various models, including the 2016-2021 Forester and the 2015-2021 Outback.
  • Two five-button flip and remote head keys for Volvo that cover various models, including the 2004-2015 XC90.
  • One four-button flip key for Acura that covers the 2009-2014 TL and TSX and 2010-2013 ZDX, as well as the 2008-2012 Honda Accord Coupe.
  • One four-button flip key for Mercedes-Benz that covers the 1997-2005 ML.
  • One four-button fob for Mazda that covers the 2008-2009 Mazda3.

Most of the keys in both releases require a laser key cutter. Most of the remotes have a transponder, but two of the Ford models allow for onboard programming (OBP).

Adams says the first massive single release was partly a business decision and partly the result of delays in getting certification from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the radio signals.

“Those FCC certifications all can take time,” he says. “And I don’t announce keys until I have inventory in stock in the warehouse. Then it was, ‘do I want to release 55 now and 15 more in two weeks? Let’s just wait and put then all on one big collection.’”

The latest release brings the Look-Alikes line to close to 400 different models, but Adams notes that the collection still has a few holes he’d like to fill, particularly Honda.

“Honda proximity has proven to be a little bit tougher nut to crack,” he says of keyless fobs. “We have all the Honda remote head keys, but proximity for Honda is a glaring hole for me.”

Advanced Diagnostics Software

After a long gap in producing software for the Advanced Diagnostics flagship Smart Pro programmer, a new release for Mercedes vehicles from 1996-2014 came out in summer 2021. This preceded three fall updates for software that covers BMW, Jaguar/Land Rover and Volkswagen vehicles.

Then, in March 2022, AD released software that’s designed to program proximity keys compatible with 2020 and 2021 models of the Fiat 500X, 2021 models of the Jeep Compass and 2020 and 2021 models of the Jeep Renegade. Adams points to this release as being particularly important.

“Those two Jeep models are pretty big, because they are superpopular in the rental fleets,” he says. “And that’s a piece of software that we’ll add models to as we test and tweak the software further. It’s the baseline to cover some good stuff, even, hopefully, some of the ’22 models in that Jeep line.”

The latest release requires a Smart Pro, connection to the internet via Wi-Fi and an ADC2012 cable in addition to the standard ADC2000B cable to complete the programming procedure. The software bypasses the security PIN code and programs the remote and transponder simultaneously.

This software uses three tokens without UTP or none with. It also can be purchased outright. Add-key and erase-key functionalities are available with the presence of an existing or new key, although no working key is required.

Adams says more is in the pipeline although he didn’t provide specifics and couldn’t provide a timetable for when it might be made public.

“Any time we can do Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Honda — what we refer to as the big six — it’s always good, and we do have stuff in the pipeline on all six of those,” he says. Whether one of those is the delayed F-150 remains to be seen, however. “I told the engineers, if we’d be the first to market with that, it’s monumental.”

Everything Else

The latest key machine under the Silca brand was the Flash Mobile, which was released in August 2021. It’s a battery-powered version of the Flash 008, and we wondered whether a version that might cut laser keys on the go was in the offing, but Kaba Ilco has no news to report there.

Adams did, however, tease a new cloning tool that’s expected to be out by summer that will allow locksmiths to clone through the Smart Pro. It was supposed to be out by now, but the shortage of electronic components created a delay. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Ilco has released its subscription version of the MYKEYS Pro app-driven software, which Adams calls “an all-inclusive catalog of all our product offerings.” It’s a nominal monthly fee, along the lines of a streaming-TV subscription.

MYKEYS Pro has been out for about a year, and it provides a key-programming database of thousands of vehicles, but the subscription side added functionality and interconnectivity among Ilco products.

“If you have the subscription, and your Smart Pro’s connected to Wi-Fi, I can look at the MYKEYS Pro app and see if I can program that 2021 Jeep Renegade,” Adams explains as one example. “If my Smart Pro is turned on and connected to my Wi-Fi, there’s an option on the [app] where I can [hit] ‘send to Smart Pro’ and it will send the Smart Pro straight to that Jeep Renegade menu. I don’t have to look it up on the app and then go punch it into the Smart Pro. It will send it straight to the machine, and all I have to do is just pick the machine up and I’m ready to rock and roll.”

For more information, go to: for keys for software for MYKEYS Pro

and for everything else.


About the Author

Will Christensen | Senior Editor

Will Christensen is senior editor at Locksmith Ledger International. He has been an editor and reporter at magazines and newspapers for more than 30 years.