Report Finds 28 People Were Fatally Poisoned by Carbon Monoxide from Keyless Ignitions
Cars with keyless ignitions are becoming increasingly popular. They are also killing drivers. A new report claims almost 30 people have been poisoned by carbon monoxide from keyless ignitions.
A report in the New York Times revealed that dozens of people have been poisoned by carbon monoxide after failing to shut off the keyless ignition on their cars and trucks.
The Times study highlighted at least 28 deaths from the problem in 12 years. A further 45 people suffered serious injuries.
The investigation revealed some motorists fail to realize they have not turned off their engine. Often poisonous carbon monoxide fills garages and even homes with fatal consequences. The report highlights efforts by some groups to secure new regulations to force automakers to address the issue.
Keyless ignition has been available on some models of vehicles in the United States since the early 2000s. Drivers can start their car with the press of a button while their electronic key fob remains in their pocket.
Three years ago, a class action lawsuit against automakers alleged keyless ignition vehicles suffered from a “defect.”
The alleged defect was the fact that once the car has been started, these systems allow the vehicle to continue running even when the fob itself is no longer in the car. The lawsuit claimed drivers inadvertently left their vehicles running inside enclosed garages. The resulting build-up of toxic but odorless carbon monoxide gas proved deadly in 13 cases cited in the lawsuit. A judge dismissed the suit in September 2016.
However, the latest report by the New York Times suggests the issue may be more widespread than believed at the time of the litigation.
Some experts have warned of the seriousness of the issue that led to deaths by carbon monoxide from keyless ignitions for some time.
The Society of Automotive Engineers, a respected standards group in the auto industry, called for automakers to fit warning signals as long as seven years ago. The group said a series of bleeps could alert drivers if their cars were left on.
The federal agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, proposed a new regulation in line with the idea advocated by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
The proposal sparked opposition with the auto industry which opposed the rule. In the new era of transportation deregulation it is becoming increasingly difficult to bring in vehicle safety legislation.
The Times reported an investigation was launched by the NHTSA into the use of keyless ignitions by seven car manufacturers. It was rapidly wound down, the newspaper reported.
Although some automakers have installed safety features to warn drivers with keyless ignitions that their engines are still on, others have not. Almost half of the vehicles involved in deaths due to carbon monoxide were made by Toyota, the report stated.
As Virginia defective car attorneys, we were extremely concerned to read this report. It contains some very real human tragedies such as that of Timothy Maddock who lives with a brain injury after deadly fumes from his girlfriend’s Lexus filled their Florida home in 2010. Maddock’s girlfriend died from the fumes.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a defective vehicle in Virginia, we want to hear from you. Call us today at (757) 455-0077 for a free meeting.