Americans are frightened — and they should be. Keyless ignition deaths are occurring across the country, as newer cars equipped with keyless ignition or remote start systems are being left with their engine running, which can lead to keyless ignition carbon monoxide poisoning and death.
At least 13 and perhaps as many as 18 deaths already have occurred due to this disturbing defect. Victims or their families are legally entitled to fight back with a keyless entry lawsuit claiming damages for their losses.
The main keyless ignition danger is that a car whose engine runs while unattended will spread carbon monoxide fumes, perhaps inside an enclosed garage adjacent to a house. Inhaling carbon monoxide can be fatal.
Another danger of such systems involves the new way they allow drivers to start and stop engines — without using a key. Changing the process means some drivers may shut off an engine without putting their vehicle in park, so that it could roll and strike a person or another vehicle.
Also, the engines of some vehicles have been known to restart after a driver exits with the engine off.
As for why a push-button start system or keyless ignition system is especially dangerous, consider this: Today’s vehicles have far more smoothly running engines which make little sound, and when a driver doesn’t need a key to turn off an engine, the driver may forget or may not realize that the engine is still running when leaving the vehicle.
Or, if the keyless system involves an on-off button, the driver may not press the off button sufficiently to stop the engine, and not be aware of that.
Many tragic keyless start system deaths have occurred when unattended vehicles had their engines running for hours at a time, perhaps within a garage adjacent to a house. Such engines can produce toxic carbon monoxide fumes which can injure or kill persons nearby.
You may be eager to know which cars have a keyless ignition system. Some of the automakers offering such a system, and the name of the system they use, are as follows:
Also offering some form of keyless ignition system are other vehicles produced by BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Mercedes Benz.
Such keyless ignition systems have been installed in vehicles since around 2003, but largely on luxury models. However, many models in a mid-price range have been equipped recently with such systems.
Among the remedies for keyless start deaths are two types of systems. One is an automatic shutoff system which will turn an engine off after a period of time when a car is left unattended, or perhaps turn it off as soon as the keychain “fob” which enables a keyless, push-button start is removed from the vehicle as the driver exit.
Another remedy is having various kinds of alarms or signals to alert and warn drivers that the vehicle’s engine is still running as they exit. Such systems would require the driver to heed such a warning in order to be effective. It’s believed an automatic shutoff system might be more effective, since it would not require a driver’s intervention.
With at least 13 keyless start deaths being reported, the problem already is significant. And that’s not to mention many other injuries and “near miss” accidents when persons survived despite inhaling carbon monoxide at especially harmful levels.
Keyless ignition deaths could be even higher. CBS News in Chicago cites 18 fatalities due to the problem.
If someone in your family suffered death or injury due to a keyless ignition system which left the engine running when the car was unoccupied, notify the Willis Law Firm at once. You will receive a free, no-obligation review of your case, and then you can size up your chances for a successful keyless ignition lawsuit.