I have a car (tsx) and I realize that sometimes I will need to use the physical key instead of the electronic key fob to unlock my car. Such as if there is something wrong with the electronics or my battery died. But then I realize that on the passenger side of my car, there is no key hole for it!

I also rented a car (mazda 2) a while back and that car did not have an electronic key fob to unlock the door remotely. I went to open the door first for my wife, but then I realized that there is no lock hole on the passenger side! I had to unlock my driver side door first and then unlock hers from the inside.

Also, something has went wrong with the electronic trunk button inside my car, so i can only open my trunk using the key fob. Why isn't there a physical lock on my trunk too?

Why doesn't my car have a physical lock on the passenger side? Is it just because car manufacturers are being cheap?

  • Are you prepared to pay $1,000 extra for keylocks on every door when you almost never use the key at all?
    – Emmet
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 17:55
  • The extra cost wouldn't be that great, but would probably be somewhere in the $25-$100 range. Still, I suspect most customers would rather have an extra $10 in their pocket than another key lock.
    – supercat
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 19:06

4 Answers 4


Because there's so little value? The passenger doesn't have keys, so it's almost never useful. With keyless entry, even a keyhole is only valuable on the very rare instance that the remote entry has failed and you need to urgently get in, before you get the remote entry fixed.

Remember how before keyless entry, only the front two doors had keyholes, but the rear passenger doors didn't? It's the same thing, taken slightly further.


I assume its only a matter of cost.

  • Physical locks are less often used.
  • In most cases, you don't need to squeeze into the driver's seat from the passenger's side (due to something blocking the driver's door).
  • The chance of your key's battery running out the same day the driver's door is blocked is pretty low.

Also, rentals may have lower specs than the standard (e.g. manual windows, less airbags).



Cost cutting and lack of necessity is surely part of the answer but I just wanted to add, security.

With one less lock there is one less point of failure where a car thief can punch in the lock.

(also mentioned in this thread on the same subject where "jcasa" points out the same thing)

  • 1
    I would guess that you don't live in an area that gets much snow or freezing rain, where the door on the upwind side can freeze shut.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 22:40
  • @jamesqf while a valid point I don't think it much pertains to my answer on security, I think it'd be better redirected to Steves answer on the value of a passenger lock. But I do drive a 2015 body mustang which because of the way the window rolls up into the ceiling is notorious for freezing shut, if your key fob is dead, you let your door freeze shut, and you have no warm/vinegar water to aide in getting out it is surely a sign to just stay home.
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 22:46
  • For the location, that's a sad side effect of the way StackExchange organizes things. Sometimes there's no best place to put a relevant comment. As for just staying home... well, this usually happens to me while parked at ~9000 ft in the Sierra Nevada, cross-country skiing.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 4:05
  • It's a car, not a house - it's not as one side is a significantly less visible to the environment. Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 13:33

I agree with the answer that manufacturers are so cheap that they omit basic features to try to save a buck on vehicles that are way over priced. Car thieves break a window, or even easier, hack the keyfob wireless signal.

Did you ever check to see if your vehicle has manual unlock knobs inside the vehicle? In the event that the car looses electric power, such as from an engine fire or shorted alternator....and you are in the car, how do you exit the vehicle if the doors are locked? I have actually seen this scenario on TV in which a law enforcement officer had to smash windows and pull people out of a burning car because it had no way to unlock the doors.

Wanna see something else dangerous with new cars? Leave your key fob in the car and put a 5 year old in the driver seat. Unlike safer cars of the past with child-safe ignition switches, your child can simply push the start button. Someone needs to sue!

If I'm gonna pay that much for a vehicle, it better have keyholes and an ignition key, as well as manual unlocks inside the car!

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