Q1: I see some VISION systems with five stars and others with three. What does your Protection Rating mean?
A: We created this rating system to clearly point out to customers the "absolute security level" of the product in question. This only rates security features -- those features that thwart theft and vandalism. This rating does not factor in system "usability" nor does it consider "convenience" features that the system may provide, such as keyless entry or special channel-outputs.
Q2: My car came with a factory alarm/immobilizer, so why would I need an a VISION car security system?
A: We would not be completely honest if we claimed that factory security has "no impact at all" on auto theft. Indeed some sources cite a 50% decline in "vehicle theft" within a year after an OE immobilizer was introduced in a new model car. But we are then made to wonder, what about the remaining 50% of those stolen vehicle cases? And why only a "50%" decline? And what about the decline in effectiveness of factory alarms over time, after thieves have had a chance to learn how to defeat them? A John Hopkins University Report illustrates how vulnerable RFID factory security systems are. And a Highway Loss Data Institute Report indicates that factory immobilizers deter only "amateur" thieves rather than professionals. In addition, theft rates of some vehicles that had a modest drop after a factory system was introduced rose again just one year later.
So what does this mean to you? The sad reality is that factory anti-theft systems generate a false sense of security rather than result in a significant reduction in automotive crimes. But the solution is to supplement your factory alarm/immobilizer with another electronic security device, especially a device that offers a secondary immobilizer. (Be aware that mechanical locks alone are not the best way to supplement your factory anti-theft system because they can be easily defeated.)
Here are five reasons why VISION security has an important place in the automotive aftermarket:
- Vehicle theft statistics show that even the newest cars with the most "modern" OE anti-theft systems are not stopping thieves from bypassing the system and stealing the car.
- Many remote start manufacturers have "factory security bypass modules" that thieves have access to.
- The loss of all your factory transponder keys could cost you several hundred dollars in dealer fees for reprogramming or a computer swap.
- Factory security doesn't protect your vehicle against vandalism, and doesn't offer 2-way paging features, compatibility with remote starters or turbo timers, and doesn't offer numerous convenience features that come standard on many VISION systems.
- Unlike most every other car alarm, VISION security is designed to eliminate false alarms.
Q3: I hate car alarms that go off all the time, so why would I even consider a VISION system?
A: We first have to define our terms. Many anti-theft devices that are labeled "car alarms" are just that -- bothersome noise makers. VISION offers a complete line of "vehicle security systems" which limit the use of a noise making siren, or eliminate it altogether. All VISION systems offer a Silent Mode, while our two-way paging systems allow you to silently watch over your vehicle without having the siren trigger.
Another important consideration is that most competing "car alarms" and "security systems" rely on substandard shock sensor technology that causes the siren to trigger when it shouldn't. Vision has addressed the issue of false alarms with its innovative Active-IR shock sensor. But if you are still concerned that even our Active-IR shock sensor could trigger the siren at the wrong time, note that your vehicle will still be secured with VISION security systems even without shock detection -- virtually all Vision systems have a Sensor Bypass feature, making it convenient to enable or disable the shock sensor.
Q4: Are VISION Active-IR shock sensors that much better than shock sensors from other manufacturers?
A: Yes. It may be hard to believe in light of all the bad shock sensor technology on the market today; but the fact is our 318-052 and 318-054 Active-IR sensors are rock solid stable! Active-IR sensors retain a high level of sensitivity but without false alarms (at sensitivity settings less than absolute maximum).
But don't just take our word for it. Our domestic Japanese customers, who have the highest consumer product expectations in the world, have submitted nothing but glowing reports to us regarding the performance of this sensor. In fact, a large number of our customers in Japan have switched from other "big name" security brands to VISION because of our Active-IR shock sensor stability. When we say you will be surprised at the incredible stability of Active-IR sensors, our customers back up our claims.
Q5: My top-of-the-line "brand name" security system that cost over US$500 is supposed to be the best in terms of features and sensor stability, so how can you claim to be better?
A: For many car alarm buyers, it's hard to look "beyond the brand" and break through the marketing hype -- especially if an alarm dealer you visited or a good friend recommends a particular brand to you. But when you carefully compare features, quality and price, VISION is simply a better choice than other car security brands.
KIRAMEK has closely evaluated competitor's alarms and engineered VISION systems to avoid making the same mistakes. In fact, KIRAMEK founders worked in the security aftermarket for many years importing and selling the "top" name-brand car security products from the USA. But it was the lack of technological innovation among those "top brands" that prompted us to engineer VISION security products. We know from firsthand experience that most of the big brand names in aftermarket car security achieved their position in the market due to (a) millions of dollars spent on advertising; (b) millions of dollars spent on fancy product boxes, banners and logo designs; (c) millions of dollars spent on aggressive litigation against competitors; and (d) a never-ending stream of "product modifications" (which amount to "tiny feature changes"). VISION takes a more conservative approach in these areas while focusing on its core strengths -- making great security products that are simple enough for anyone to use, but without false alarms.
Although many of the name-brand manufacturers come out with "new" security features almost every quarter, most of these features are of questionable interest to the average user. For example, while our competitors strive to dazzle alarm buyers with glitzy color animations on their 2-way pagers, we set our VISION engineers to work on designing easier to use pagers that don't sacrifice battery life, or design new sensors that are more accurate yet draw less power. And while many of our competitors seek to lock customers into expensive monthly service contracts for vehicle tracking and control, we at VISION opt to engineer practical 2-way paging and control systems which require only a one-time purchase.
Our commitment is to provide customers with user-friendly products that are more durable, more cost effective and more trouble-free than anything offered by our competitors. Simply put, VISION is a reliable security brand that we would want to have in our own cars, at prices that we would be willing to pay ourselves.
Q6: Do you offer discounts? Do your prices drop if I buy multiple items?
A: Yes, we offer deep discounts to both dealers and individual consumers. However, we must refrain from posting such discounts on our website to avoid undercutting our valued dealers. Discounts are applied to all export orders placed from outside Japan; and of course, even greater discounts apply to bulk purchases by dealers. Please also note that prices on our website include 5% consumption tax, as required by Japanese law for sales within Japan; but we do not charge this 5% tax on sales outside Japan.
If you are interested in purchasing an item for use within Japan, you will find discounts by visiting your local AutoBacs, Super AutoBacs, Driver's Stand, and AutoWave retail stores. We also offer special discounts on occasion at select retail stores around Japan, as mentioned on our Event Page (Japanese only). If you will be purchasing from outside Japan, please inform us of the items you are considering for a no-obligation cost quote. Although products shipped outside Japan are exempt from Japanese consumption taxes, please keep in mind that our cost quotes do not include any tariffs or import fees that your country may impose (which you would be responsible to pay). Finally, please note that we often wave part or all the international shipping charges if the order total is large enough (usually US$400 and higher).
BE SURE TO READ Q9 ~ Q12 below.
Q7: I can get a similar system from an Asian manufacturer for much less than you are charging. Why should I buy from VISION?
A: Because of cost versus performance. This is especially true for international buyers who risk significant financial loss if many product defects are found. We admit that there are literally hundreds of tiny manufacturers in China, Taiwan, Korea and other parts of Asia that create a mind boggling array of aftermarket security products. However, nearly all of what we have seen does not compare with VISION in terms of what you get for the price. The old adage "you get what you pay for" is still applicable today. Some ultra-low cost products may superficially "appear" similar to VISION products, but most are serious lacking in terms of product quality and sensor stability. Is that $99 alarm really worth the savings if it breaks down a year from now, or false triggers almost daily, or has incompatibilities with your vehicle?
At VISION, we strive to balance cost and performance in such a way that the customer obtain the greatest benefit. We are not the most expensive nor the least expensive in the industry. As a business, we charge enough to generate a reasonable profit, which in turn allows us to channel more resources into R&D and improvements in manufacturing technology. So while some of our products may be more expensive than a competitor's alarm, we stand firmly behind our quality and product performance for the price.
Q8: By what standard do you judge product quality?
A: We design and test every VISION product with highest quality "Japanese" standard. With our headquarters and distribution facilities are based in central Japan, VISION is experienced in the demands of the Japanese market. We have a zero defect policy, and a commitment to ensuring all our customers are "more than satisfied" with their purchases from VISION.
Q9: Do you have dealers in my country? Can you sell to me direct?
A: KIRAMEK has been working to create VISION dealers in various markets outside Japan, but there are still many countries in which we do not have an authorized distributor. Therefore, please contact us for information on dealers in your country. Even if we do not have a dealer to support you, we still sell certain products direct. However, we would prefer to sell direct only to end customers who can obtain quality installation from a professional automotive mechanic or security installer. The reason is because we assume no liability for damage during installation, nor can we offer on-site support. This does not mean we do not support our overseas customers. It simply means that the level of support we can offer may be inadequate for customers who lack a familiarity with vehicle electronics. Simply put, if we do not have a dealer in your area and if you are willing to accept the risks of installing a security system yourself, then we would be happy to sell direct to you.
Q10: There's no VISION dealer near me, I don't have access to a professional installer, and I'm a novice at vehicle electronics. What can I buy?
A: Our easiest-to-install product is the 1440. However, we cannot accept returns in cases where you don't fully understand the features or installation involved prior to purchase but then you then purchase the product anyway.
For example. we had a customer in North America who purchased one of our alarms and then installed it in such a way that the transmitter code was lost from system memory. The solution to this problem is a very simple one-time re-learning of the transmitter (as described in the product manual). However, this customer refused to connect more than +12v and Ground, which prevented him from entering transmitter learn mode (Learn Mode requires a connection to Ignition). Please understand that we cannot take the product back in such cases! So again, please read the manual a couple times, and please ask questions prior to purchase. When you fully understand the system prior to purchase, everything should go smoothly after purchase. Even so, we still strongly recommend professional installation.
Q11: If you agree to ship direct to me internationally, what shipping options are available and at what cost?
A: We prefer to ship by EMS (The equivalent of USPS "Express Mail International" in the USA). We can ship by FedEx if you offer us your account number, but we discourage it due to the high cost. Japan Post also offers medium-cost SAL (Surface Air Lift) and low-cost Surface Mail (Ocean Freight).
EMS is similar to FedEx, but EMS is less expensive and only 2-3 days slower. EMS offers convenient online tracking that allows you to trace the location of your package any time during transport to your preferred destination. EMS is also fully insured up to „20,000 at no extra charge, and additional insurance is available above „20,000 for a small fee. EMS takes about 3 days to arrive at most locations in the USA, 4 days in Canada, and less than a week in most other destinations. (In our experience, Italy is the lone exception, always taking more than a week to arrive.)
For medium weight packages, SAL can be a little cheaper than EMS but it's usually not worth the savings. SAL is not insured, does not offer package tracking, and takes about two weeks to arrive even in the US.
Ocean freight shipments are not insured or traceable, but this method is the least expensive. We do not recommend this, except for very heavy shipments that would cost an unreasonable amount to ship by EMS.
Note that we cannot provide shipping cost estimates until you email us your tentative order. Shipping cost quotes are provided free of charge, with no obligation to purchase.
Q12: How do I place an order? Do you have a web store?
A: We do not have a web store because most VISION products require installation of some form, and their could be incompatibilities. For that reason we must consult with customers prior to purchase. We therefore sell to overseas customers on a case by case basis, to ensure there are no problems after the sale.
If you are an end customer outside Japan who has access to professional automotive installation, residing in a country without an existing dealer, we can accept your order inquiries via email, fax or telephone.
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If you desire to be a dealer or place a bulk order, place contact us for details.
Q13: Are VISION products compatible with any factory immobilizer or factory alarm system?
A: VISION does not offer engine/remote start functions, so VISION products are of course fully compatible with any "immobilizer." Our Vision 1440 systems are also fully compatible with factory alarms too because our 1440 systems do not control door locking.
If you have a factory alarm and wish to install one of our security systems that includes a remote, you will need to have your dealer Disable your factory alarm. For many Toyota vehicles, this is possible, but for others it is not (please consult with your car dealer for details). If you cannot disable your factory alarm, our security systems will still function but you will not be able to use our alarm remotes to control door locking. If this is a problem for you, then we recommend our Vision 1440 alarm instead.
Q14: I want to keep using my vehicle transmitters because my factory remote has a wireless sliding door feature, and/or features other than door lock. What should I do?
A: Our 1440 is the perfect security system for you. The 1440 does not come with any wireless transmitters at all. It learns your vehicles factory keyless system, allowing you to continue using your factory remotes. But you also get the added benefit of an advanced security system. For this reason we call the 1440 a "factory keyless upgrade" system.
Q15: I like your sensor technology, but I already have an expensive alarm system. Will your sensors work with my alarm?
A: Yes, for all alarm systems that do not have "multiplex" inputs. Multiplex systems allow the sensor to send two types of information on a single wire (such as Warn Away and Full Trigger signals). Our tests have shown that many multiplex inputs require a long digital pulse to read, and therefore they do not read our short-pulse output. But for the vast majority of alarm systems that accept (-) GND input triggers, our sensors are fully compatible. For your reference, all VISION sensors feed a pulse length of 30msec or longer during a trigger.
But in addition to sensors, VISION also offers a full line of compatible installation parts for 3rd party alarms, including: diodes; switches; splice clips; motors and actuators; door interfaces; and relays.
Q16: What vehicles are NOT compatible with your 1440 Keyless Upgrade system?
A: Any vehicle that does not have factory keyless will not work with the 1440. You must have a "factory keyless" system that flashes the vehicle hazard lights at the same time the doors are either locked and/or unlocked. The reason is that the 1440 reads both the door lock motor pulses and the hazard lights to ensure proper operation. If the hazards do not flash when you press your keyless entry remote, the 1440 will not work with your vehicle. Also note that many "aftermarket" keyless entry systems are incompatible with the 1440. The 1440 system works best with "factory keyless" equipped vehicles. For more information, please refer to the notes at the bottom of our 1440 product page.
Q17: Can you provide me with vehicle schematics or other installation information?
A: We provide such technical details to all VISION dealers, but please keep in mind that most of our information pertains to Japanese vehicles sold in Japan. Please consult a VISION dealer for further information.
If you are a VISION dealer or prospective dealer who requires a large online database of non-Japanese vehicles (or Japanese models sold outside Japan), we highly recommend Installogy from Autoland Canada. The service is not free, but we have found it to be the most comprehensive for the money.
Q18: What is the meaning of "2-way"?
A: KIRAMEK "2-way" security products transmit AND receive information. This is in contrast to a "1-way" system that only transmits information but cannot receive information back from the vehicle. (Note that the phrase "Answer-Back" describes "2-way" security systems.)
Whenever you push a button on your two-way device (e.g., "pager"), digital codes are sent (transmitted) from the 2-way device to the security system control unit in the vehicle. An "answer-back" message is then immediately sent to the 2-way pager (from security system in the vehicle) and displayed in the form of icons on the LCD. The icons provide the user with visual confirmation that the commands you sent with your button-press have been received and acted upon. The current status of the security system as well as sensor triggers are also displayed on the 2-way pager via icons.
This is different from a 1-way system in that the only confirmation you receive in one-way alarms is from siren chirps or LED flashes emanating from the vehicle itself. Two-way systems conveniently allow you to receive confirmation even when you are out of visual or hearing range of the vehicle.
Q19: What is the meaning of "JAN" that appears near the price of most products on this site?
A: JAN is the Japanese standard for product bar codes. This code is helpful for our domestic Japanese dealers and consumers who wish to have a convenient means of finding the product at a retail store in Japan.