A Toyota microchip key, also called a transponder, can be replaced and programmed by a lock-smith or dealership. Although transponders are more advanced then regular keys, they essentially follow the same cutting procedures required to make compatible replacements.
Transponder keys visually resemble standard keys with the exception of a thicker handle or laser cut shank. The handles, which usually feature the Toyota emblem, house a special microchip. When the key is pressed into the lock cylinder, the microchip mounted inside of the handle sends a specific signal to the automobile's computer.
A transponder key can only be replaced by a certified lock-smith or authorized dealership. A lock-smith will use a special machine to cut the key shank into the correct shape. Once cut, the microchip will then need to be programmed. The lock-smith will connect the chip to a database and match the correct program to the key. Then, the technician will download and reprogram the key to work on the Toyota vehicle.
Although new transponder keys can only be replaced by authorized technicians, a consumer will be able to program a key if they own at least two spares. The reprogramming method requires using a special procedure, which varies based on the vehicle's make and model.