Deadly Carbon Monoxide Risk in Keyless Cars

Since 2006, twenty-eight people have been killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. Some victims have left their cars running in the garage, which allows carbon monoxide gas to get into their homes. Another forty-five people have suffered debilitating injuries.

So-called keyless entry systems are a standard feature on many new vehicles. The keyless ignition system allows drivers to start and shut off their vehicles with the press of a button while the car key or key fob, remains in their purse of pocket. In 2015, a class action lawsuit claimed there had been thirteen carbon monoxide-related deaths linked to keyless ignition vehicles. It has been reported that Toyota vehicles, including some Lexus vehicles, played a part in almost half of the accidental carbon monoxide deaths.

The challenge for automakers to balance customer safety with convenience is an ongoing battle. Some carmakers have voluntarily included warning signals for drivers, such as a series of alerts and beeps to alert drivers if their cars were left on. Seven years ago the Society of Automotive Engineers called for automakers to include warnings signals. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration then proposed a federal regulation in line with the auto industries idea. But the auto industry opposed the rule, and the NHTSA has yet to follow through with the regulation.

Litigation against the automotive companies is rising. Sean Kane, founder of Safety Research and Strategies said “We’re going to continue to see deaths and injuries…and the manufactures will continue to settle cases.” If something does not change consumer convenience will continue to outweigh consumer safety and people will continue to suffer injuries, or even death.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a vehicle, contact at attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-231-9360 or 1-888-229-5094 for your free consultation.