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My i-miev suddenly wouldn't start and displayed the yellow warning light with exclamation point inside car. The manual says electrical failure. After searching the web for solutions I had the 12v battery checked and recharged but same issue. After calling for service I got a tips to try the other key. And it started just fine. Then I remembered that my main key had dropped to the floor and split in two. I just put it back together and didn't think much about it. But when I opened the key and checked closely, I saw a tiny empty slot inside. I started searching for a small piece that could be missing. Luckily I found it on the floor, and after inserting it the main key worked again. This small piece contains a unique RFID code, and the car refuses to start without it. But I find it strange that the car reports an electrical failure when it is missing.
 

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Good tip.

Yes all cars from about 1998 on that still use physical keys have passive RFID chips in the key for the immobiliser - if the chip is missing or doesn't match the car, the car won't start. Lucky you found it before the hoover did!

I don't know about the i-Miev but a new remote RF key for the Ion is £200 from a main stealer...

Sounds like they just used one multi-function warning light to cover immobiliser errors while some cars have a specific immobiliser warning light.
 
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