I feel your pain. Well, not any more (I finally got so frustrated I disabled the alarm via AlfaOBD) but I sure used to feel your pain.
So when the car starts going nuts what you have to do depends on how the honking started. The VTA alarm is separate from the panic alarm, although they both honk like crazy.
If the fob is in your pocket and the panic button gets accidentally pressed, to get it to stop you must press the panic button again.
If the VTA alarm goes off due to a door being opened while locked or shock/impact to the body of the vehicle, it is SUPPOSED to be able to be disarmed by either pressing the unlock button on the fob or by getting in and turning on the ignition. I say "supposed to" because I have not had any luck with the second method (getting in and turning the ignition on). It tended to be (for me personally) that the alarm going off was so unexpected and nerve-wracking that I could not always think clearly and tell you for sure what I tried to get it to stop. It is an unpleasant experience that happened to me over and over and over again.
I am pretty sure the unlock button on the fob almost always works. I think in the heat of the moment I always expected opening the door with the proximity key to be the same thing (unlocked is unlocked, right?), but it is not. You can get in, start the car, press lock/unlock buttons on the door, it doesn't give a care about any of that. Literally nothing but the unlock button on the fob seems to work and sometimes not even that, but I will give you my theory on why:
I think possibly where we get REALLY confused and frustrated is a scenario like this:
1) VTA Alarm goes off (because a leaf fell on it from a tree, or similar...)
2) You wonder if you pressed the panic button in your pocket by accident, so you press it.
--> NOW you have both
the VTA and
the panic alarm engaged and don't realize it, this is the tricky part.
3) You notice pressing panic has no effect, so you try the unlock button.
--> Now you have turned off the VTA, but the f*&^#r is STILL honking because you turned the panic alarm on!
--> You sit there in confusion for a long time embarrassed and frustrated by your car because you pressed the right buttons and its still pissing off the whole neighborhood, until the timer runs out on the panic alarm
Now you'd say, "surely no programmer would be [email protected]&#$d enough to design such a system that would allow for this scenario?
" Well ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Fiat Chrysler Automotive
I for one finally had enough of the BS. The AlfaOBD setup is a bit of an investment, you need expensive software/app, expensive OBDII interface module, special adapter cables that can only be sourced from the UK, but its worth it because you CAN disable the VTA Alarm, and the panic (separately), and then you can install a third party alarm system whos behavior is not confusing and obnoxious. As a bonus, you can disable ESS and the seat belt alarms. I am a lot happier with my Compass thanks to a few minor tweaks via AlfaOBD