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Carbon monoxide deaths caused by keyless ignition cars

There have been a number of fatal accidents caused by cars with keyless ignitions in the past several years. In 2012, an 84-year-old man in excellent health died due to carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in his recliner and watching television. After returning from the store, he accidentally left his keyless ignition car running in the garage, and the poisonous gas filled his home. Minnesota motorists may want to know that there have been at least 18 such carbon monoxide poisoning deaths attributable to keyless vehicles since 2009.

Federal regulations mandate that cars with traditional keys must shut down if the key is taken out of the ignition. There is no rule to protect drivers of keyless ignition cars, and they can keep running after the driver has walked away without manually shutting it off. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in 2011 that there is clearly a safety problem. Sen. Bob Casey is trying to push the Department of Transportation into taking prompt action in an attempt to prevent more deaths from this automotive defect.

Class action lawsuits are trying to fill the gap that is not being addressed by federal regulators. One law firm has sued 10 car makers on behalf of people who bought keyless ignition cars that do not have an automatic shut-off feature. The lawsuit alleges the car manufacturers knew or should have known there was a foreseeable danger and maintains the remedy would not require costly hardware but only a simple software fix.

Automotive defects can cause serious and sometimes fatal harm. A person who has been injured as a result of a defective part may want to meet with an attorney to determine how best to seek compensation for the losses that have been incurred.

Source: WKBW, Number of deaths linked to keyless ignition jumps, senator pushes NHTSA to act", Mark Greenblatt, Dec. 21, 2015

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