A perplexing riddle affecting dozens of families in the Cleveland area has finally been solved, but not before weeks of wreaking havoc on people who – bizarre as it sounds – were unable to open their car and garage doors.
In late April, residents of the town of North Olmsted, Ohio began finding that their wireless car key fobs and garage door openers had simply ceased to function, or worked unpredictably when they did work at all.
Sometimes it would be one of a pair of remote key fobs that wouldn’t work, while the other one did. At other times, car doors could be opened wirelessly when parked in other places, but if the vehicle returned to North Olmsted, the locked doors became inert once more.
One resident, Cory Branchick, assumed her key’s battery must be at fault, so she replaced it only to find the problem hadn’t been fixed at all – at least when she was parked in her driveway, that is.
“Anywhere else, when I go to work or when I go to the grocery store, the key fob works,” Branchick told local WKYC news.
While dozens of neighbours across multiple nearby streets all reported the same phenomenon, nobody knew what was causing the widespread malfunction.
Some suggested it might be related to goings on at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, or even a technological hazard related to a NASA research centre in the area.
Others, including city officials, suggested the malfunction might be related to telecommunications and electricity providers, who dispatched their…