Are Keyless Ignition Cars Causing Carbon Monoxide Deaths?

iStock_000004382065_LargeMore than a few of the largest car manufacturers have recently been named as defendants in a number of lawsuits claiming that they knowingly hid the fact that their keyless ignition cars come with greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. These vehicles have allegedly caused the deaths of 13 people so far.

The lawsuit alleges that keyless cars will remain running even after the driver leaves the car, mistakenly believing that taking the key with them would shut the car off. Carbon monoxide continues to poison the air, which can lead to serious injury or death.

So far, 28 people have filed lawsuits against BMW, Mercedes, Fiat, Ford, GM, Hyundai, Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan, and Honda (so basically every car manufacturer out there).

Keyless ignition features allow a driver to simply push an on/off button to start and stop a car when the matching electronic key is within close range. The plaintiffs accuse the companies of not providing proper instruction. Many owners were under the impression that the car would turn off if the electronic key was not nearby.

This suit is one of many that seek to hold the car manufacturers responsible for injuries caused by defects and lack of proper instruction (which falls under product defect suits as well). The plaintiffs, who claim the companies have known of the risk all along (27 complaints have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding this issue since 2009), argue that the 13 deaths could all have been avoided by adding a safety measure that turns the car off when the electronic key is no longer nearby.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages and fighting for car companies to install these shut-off safety features to ensure that nobody else is injured or killed by carbon monoxide poisoning.

McBride, Scicchitano, Leacox, P.A.Product liability lawyers

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