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Auto Theft Prevention/1999 mercury cougar pats problem


Hello Rob, from what i have read i believe you to be the best expert on these crap PATS systems.
I have a 1999 mercury cougar that has the predictable pats registry issue, i had changed my battery and when trying to start my car after all i got was the red blinking light and the car would not turn over at all.
I do have both of my keys but neither Will work,  I called my local ford dealership and they gladly quoted me $600 for a 1 hour reprogram!!!! I have declined as you have probably guessed.
So my question is, would there be any way for me to reprogram, reset, or bypass this POS system in any way? Without costing me hundreds of dollars? I do have a parts car as well could i just swap the keys, ignition and transponder over to my steering column?
Thank you for your time and any help you can provide.


The car PATS was designed differently than the SUVs and trucks. On the
trucks and SUVs it was just a matter of closing the points on the PCM
power relay. Cars on the other hand were equipped with a relay module
having a number of relays in a non-servicable box. I suppose the same
theory on the trucks can be used by rewiring, but you would need to
purchase a factory service manual from Helm, which will set you back
around $100 unless you find one on Ebay, but you still don't know if it
will work until you try finding the circuit and rewiring it.

The swap would be the way I would go in my opinion. On most Ford to remove the
ignition you put the ignition in the on position and find the hole on
the bottom of the steering column. Take an ice pick, insert it in the
hole and depress the retaining pin and remove the lock. Take your other
ignition and push in hole turning very slightly on key until cylinder
lines up. Push in and done. That is on most Fords.

Ford said it was virtually impossible to defeat the PATS in a case I
had agsinst them. Los Angeles "Greines v Ford" I studied a service manual electrical schematic
(something that many of today's techs have no clue to do). I found a
back door and defeated this junk on 10/10/2000 on video for a judge. I
shared my bypass with peers. They too made videos after using my
bypass. To this day, the idiots at Ford will tell you impossible on this system that was in their vehicles until 2003.

OK, sorry about this, but I appreciate you opening the door on the fantastic piece
of crap, which commonly like other factory installed deterrents stops the owner from driving until extorted a very high price from the dealer.
There are times like this that I get on my soap box.

Ford lied to all consumers and still does and this issue would be great
for a class action. Insureds are injured on a daily basis being accused
of fraud when their unstealable vehicle is stolen. PATS (Passive Anti
Theft System). A big lie and this system (nor anyone elses)has ever been designed to stop
theft! These systems only control the start/ignition circuit. That hardly
prevents towing! No system made prevents theft! Unless of course you were to listen to the
all-knowing forensic locksmiths that the insurance companies contract.

They will accuse the insured almost every time with the boiler plate
conclusion through out the nation stated as this: No ignition damage
was present and the vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper
type. Although there has never been a definition as to what the heck
that is! Could be the insureds key if towed, some other unaccounted for
key, another programmed key or a cloned key. Never specified because it cannot be done!

It gets better--These conclusions are the same on totally burned
vehicles when all electronics have been destroyed by fire and no way of
checking the computer. I am considered an outcast in my industry
because I dare successfully question their methodology and conclusions
for validity.

A group of these goofs working with insurance defense
attorneys and prosecutors have done everything to destroy me both
personally and professionally for the last 16 years in court, because of
their fear of exposure. The defense attorneys can't defend the facts, so they
have made a referendum on me. Sometimes, I don't even hear anything about
the evidence at deposition. In April 2012, the State Farm attorney was
more concerned about my romantic life, asking how to cotact my ex-wife
from a 20 year marriage, if I blamed State Farm for my divorce.

In 2007-2008 I was going through a divorce at the same time we had 12
months of our life stolen costing me everything. Courtesy of a State
Farm defense attorney and a opposing expert, the deliberately took the
corporate gross without salaries and all other expenses considered and
confused it with my personal income, coupled with an anonymous letter, causing a 12 month federal investigation on us. We needed permission from a federal judge to get
divorced! 12 months all over when the idiot feds deposed me and
realized what I was accused of was a lie!

This is what happens when one bucks the status quo of accusing insureds
of fraud. I could go on and it would sound like a rant, but this has
been my life because I was doing what I felt to be the right thing.

The worst thing is to piss off a smarter man who has nothing to lose. I
am more dangerous today than ever! I have taken the bull by the horns
in this fraudulent industry and learned how to best represent my
insured clients over being an expert witness for 16 years.

I now am assigned Power of Attorney by my clients which gives me the same power
of a plaintiff attorney in civil claims/cases in many states. The
difference is that I know what I am doing in this field, where a
plaintiff attorney argues the law, I argue the fact!

The reason I bring all this up, yet again, I literally saved a person's
life. This involved a US Navy court martial based on State Farm's
Forensic Locksmith in California involving a burned Ford truck with
PATS and only one key. The expert said the vehicle was last operated
with a key of the proper type. Once denied, the US Navy was prosecuting
my guy for actions non-becoming, fraud, arson. I demanded the ignition
lock evidence (attorney never thought of it) and all was destroyed in
fire as well as computer. The Jag prosecuting the case had no choice
but to dismiss! This happened in December 2012. And I have another
exactly the same with USAA in Texas right now.
The insured is victimized on the theft, victimized by the forensic
locksmith who can't prove anything, then victimized by denial of the
theft claim. Worse yet, possibly prosecuted on what is known as
circumstantial evidence (bull shit-construed as fact).

Its sad, we are the only firm in the world in this field that assist
insureds on theft claims. The insurance investigation uses a fraud
(forensic locksmith) in my opinion to facilitate a fraud investigation,
to accuse the insured of fraud. All because the Ford PATS and every
other so-called "anti theft system" by the forensic locksmiths
allegedly prevent theft of the vehicle.

The first assumption used as fact, is that the vehicle was driven from
the theft scene. Te next assumption used as fact, is that a thief would
remove the parts before burning the vehicle. Well, they did not catch
the person that set the fire, so it had to be the insured, or at least
that is the assumption used as fact!. If the vehicle is not recovered,
the forensic locksmith examines the keys and states the vehicle was
last driven with a key of the proper type. No vehicle to examine, no
ignition to examine. No PATS or other transponder system to examine.
Assumption of insured involvement transposed as fact.

I am not afraid to tell the truth and that is not allowed by the
insurance industry or trust me, anyone questioning them is not allowed
to have a business or exist. What a con, starting from the manufacturer
and going forward. If these cases are lost by a plaintiff attorney, it
is not because they are not good at being an attorney. They are just
out of their league.
My ability to defeat the Ford PATS in trucks and any other system out
there is great. Another proven way to illustrate this, is I gave y'all
and idea as to the type of questioning used on me by defense attorneys.

Anyone going through an auto theft claims investigation, an EUO or that
has been denied, the first thought is to get an attorney, which in my
opinion is the worst thing you can do. If you give us power of attorney
to represent you, we ae a force that no attorney can compete in dealing
with this field. Please visit our site at You will see inside information that is
never supposed to be divulged to assist insureds. Nothing like this on
the web!

Auto Theft , Fire & Forensic Consultant/ Expert Witness
Auto Theft SIU Investigation/EUO Expert

Auto Theft Prevention

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Rob Painter, ASE, CFL, CFEI


My background in auto theft is extensive. I have been directly involved in the repair of over 10,000 theft recovered vehicles. I also do insurance investigation as to how a vehicle was last operated. My clients are insurance companies and attorneys. Was featured in the A & E auto theft documentary "Stealing Wheels" July 26, 2000. Has consulted with Daimler Chrysler steering column engineers to make their steering columns harder to defeat. Holds patent # 6,039,140 for 8 different variations to protect air bags from theft.


ROB PAINTER, ASE, CFL, CFEI Forensic Vehicle Component Analyst Diplomate, Board Certified Forensic Examiner ASE Certified Auto, Collision, Med/Hvy/Duty Truck Technician Certified Forensic Locksmith Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator Certified Forensic Auto Theft Examiner Certified Auto Theft and Fraud Expert P.O. Box 190 Big Bend, WI 53103 Phone (414) 698-9696 Fax (262) 662-1352 As per federal court rules of evidence (702) (Daubert) my testimony has qualified me as: Auto Theft and Fraud Expert Forensic Vehicle Analyst Fire Origin and Cause Expert In the trial transcript of Holiday vs Progressive Insurance Company (March 12, 2002?Eugene, Oregon) with Holiday being my client-named ?the expert for experts.? BUSINESS EXPERIENCE Founder of the ?Forensic Institute of Auto Theft Analysis? (January 2002). This is the training school that will set the standards in determining the last operation of a reported stolen vehicle-burned or unburned. Much of my testing and procedures have been accepted as the guide for the forensic community. 1986 opened Auto Recovery Specialists Inc., providing exclusive repair of theft recovered and vandalized vehicles. The initial concept of the business was to return vehicles to their original shape before the theft, vandalism or fire. In 1987 bought the rights to the theft deterrent known as the ?Chicago Collar?. Duties include complete component replacement: dash, stereo system, interior, locks and coding, rebuilding steering columns, repairing and installing vehicle security system components (factory and after market), engine components, body repair, glass replacement, repair and service of air conditioning components, brake and suspension repair, and replacement, wiring harnesses etc. to return vehicle to pre-theft condition Complete reconstruction. During the past 17 years directly involved in the repair of over 10,000 theft-recovered and fire damaged Personally examined and rebuilt thousands of steering columns on both import and domestic vehicles Internationally acknowledged as expert in auto theft including court, consulting with insurance companies, attorneys and law enforcement. Consultant on steering columns, locks, stereo systems and vehicle security for Special Investigation Units for many large insurance carriers during the past eight years. Consulting services include but not limited to: How a vehicle was last operated (with or without keys in burned or unburned vehicles), Origin and Cause of vehicle fires, and vehicle defects. Provides services as a consultant and researcher to attorneys and insurance companies, and private industry throughout the US in cases related to vehicles. Has worked with crime prevention officers throughout the US establishing training programs designed to protect the public from becoming victims of auto theft. PATENT: 3/21/00 issued patent# 6,039,140 for 8 different variations of airbag anti-theft devices. PUBLICATIONS Currently authors articles and test reports on an ongoing basis for SIUs and the forensic/vehicle fire industry. Published author: (1,297 slide training course) Auto Theft/ Fraud Training Course) ?The Modern Forensic Approach to Auto Theft Investigation.? (January, 2001) Author: ?Variables to Be Considered In Vehicle Fire Investigation after Suppression.? (Insurance publication-November 2001) Author: ?Ford Magnesium Steering Columns and the Results to Ignition Components after a Fire?. Article for peer review from the fire and forensic community. (November 2001) Author: ?The Truth About GM VATS.? (Article) (November 2001) Author: ?The Truth About GM PASSLOCK TM? (Article) (November 2001) Author:? Auto Theft Investigation: Hollywood vs. Reality? (Article) (February 2001) For the John Cooke Fraud Report. Published author: (Manual) ?Forensic Vehicle Fire/ Arson and Auto Theft Investigation? (October 2000) Published author: (Article) ?Petty Claims? for the John Cooke Fraud Report (October, 1998) Published author (Manual) ?AUTO THEFT: LET THE TRUTH BE KNOWN!? (1998) (Previously distributed by Barnes & Nobel) Co-authored the investigation manual, ?Surreptitious Entry & Auto Theft & Burn & the Investigator.? (1999) Authored test questions on the subject of steering columns and vehicle security for CFL designation to be given by the International Association of Investigative Locksmiths. January, 2000 Published author: (Manual) ?Saginaw Steering Columns-What Has Not Been Told? Training manual for fire investigators. (March 2000) Published (Article) ?Beyond The Lock? (May 2000) Published Author: (Article) Fraud Defense Network-August, 2000 Edition-?Melting Steering Column Tests.? Published author: (Test Report) ?Burned Toyota Steering Column Testing to Determine How Last Operated?. Tool marks and procedures. (December 1999) Currently at the FBI Crime Lab in Washington DC and the US Army Crime Lab in Atlanta, GA for peer review. ACCOMPLISHMENTS Defeated the ?unstealable? Ford Securilock transponder system for a court case 10/10/00. They said it could not be done! Primary designer of a state of the art ?bait? car for a police department to catch car thieves. Worked with The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration and discovered a potential fire hazard on a vehicle and determined origin and cause of under hood fires on this type of vehicle. Featured as ?Auto Theft Expert? in the A & E auto theft documentary ?Stealing Wheels? that aired July 26, 2000. Contacted by Sears and Edelman Marketing to be a national spokesman for an anti theft device for vehicles. (November 1999) Invited to provide evaluation and consulting to steering column engineers at Daimler Chrysler Corporation in Auburn Hills, MI (10/19/99-10/22/99). The purpose of this project was to demonstrate how steering column locking mechanisms could be defeated without the use of a key and how to reinforce the columns against theft. Court Qualified as an Auto Theft Expert and my videos of defeating columns were also accepted by a Cleveland, Ohio Court in October 1999 as a valid piece of evidence. Contacted by Disney Touchstone Pictures for technical assistance in making the movie ?Gone in 60 Seconds? (March 1999) CONSULTANT FOR FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS ? Former contributor for The Insurance News Network (Auto theft and prevention) includes heading a forum for the public on how to protect their vehicles for 3+ years. ? Former editor and consultant for the public on matters involving auto theft and prevention 2000-2001 on the web at ? The Insurance Career Center (Auto theft and fraud). ? National Association of Investigative Specialists (Auto theft and fraud) ? Expert Find (Auto theft and fraud} TECHNICAL EXPERIENCE ? ASE (National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence) Certified in Auto: brakes, steering and suspension, engine repair, manual drive train and axles, air conditioning. Med/Heavy duty truck: gasoline engine repair, electrical/electronic components. Collision: elec.....

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