Most new cars today come with keyless ignition systems, and many consumers appreciate the convenience. However, there is evidence that keyless ignitions can be dangerous and that the auto industry is aware of these dangers. Yet, auto manufacturers continue to market vehicles with keyless ignitions and fail to warn consumers of the potential dangers.
How Do Keyless Ignitions Work?
A keyless ignition system allows a vehicle to be operated without the use of a traditional metal key. Instead, a small plastic key fob transmits a code to the vehicle’s computer when the fob is within a certain close range. This allows the car to be started with the simple press of a button. The car can then be shut down using the same button. While they are convenient, there are dangers associated with keyless ignitions.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Cars with keyless ignitions remain on even if the key fob is out of range. This means that someone can park their car in the garage, exit the vehicle with the key fob, and never turn the vehicle off. Modern car engines are quiet, and some people may not realize that the engine is still on when they leave their vehicles. This can lead to a car spewing carbon monoxide into a garage, which can eventually enter a house and cause serious harm. Since 2006, at least 36 people have been killed by carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of a keyless ignition. Dozens more have been injured. Car manufacturers have failed to take into account the human factor when designing keyless ignitions and should now take corrective action.
In addition to failing to turn off the car, sometimes individuals with keyless ignitions exit the vehicle without placing the car in park before turning off the car. This allows cars to roll and cause serious injury and property damage. Again, car manufacturers have failed to account for human error in designing their vehicles to be safe.
Keyless Ignition Legislation
A bill was recently introduced in Congress that would protect consumers from the dangers of keyless ignition systems. The bill would require an automatic shut off of the vehicle after the key fob has been out of range for a period of time. The bill would also require steps to prevent a vehicle from moving once it has been turned off.
Contact a Product Liability Attorney
If you’ve been injured as the result of a keyless ignition system, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced product liability attorney. Gregg M. Goldfarb, LLP, has been helping the victims of dangerous products for over 20 years. Contact us online or call us at (305) 374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.