An Invention That Has Cost Owners Their Lives
Vehicles that use push button start (Some through the use of a “Key-Fob”) may cause carbon monoxide poisoning and has already cost more than 10 vehicle owners their lives. Many of the reported deaths occurred when the driver of the vehicle pulled into their garage and accidentally left the car running, an error easily committed with these types of “keyless” vehicles. The vehicle then ran continuously for hours. Carbon monoxide fumes then seeped into the home and killed those sleeping in the residence.
The “Key-Fob” was invented to allow drivers an easier process of starting their vehicles, yet the invention has a flaw that allows the engine to remain running even if the driver brings the “Key-Fob” inside the house. While a traditional key must be rotated and pulled away form the key slot, which in turn causes the engine to cease, the “Key-Fob” does not require such an action.
Federal safety regulators at the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) warned in 2011 that vehicles with the keyless ignition feature present a “clear safety problem,” referring to the health hazard known as carbon monoxide poisoning.
False Sense of Safety
While hybrid vehicles may seem exempt from this hazard, an investigative article by Consumer Reports has stated that Hybrids “are virtually silent when in electric mode” which cause drivers to be unable to ascertain if the car is on or off. This oversight causes the battery to wear down and enable the switch to the engine causing carbon monoxide fumes to enter the home.
Lawsuits Against Auto Manufacturers
Currently, there have been lawsuits filed against Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Kia and Ford citing that the manufacturers have been in possession of reports of the hazards the keyless ignition pose and no action to prevent future injuries or death has been taken. The lawsuits further claim that if these vehicles had included a warning system or automatic shutoff process, these deaths could have been prevented.
Should anyone sustain injuries due to carbon monoxide poisoning, the effects can be life-long and compensation is the right of those injured by another’s negligence. With these types of injures, there are time limits in which a lawsuit can be filed. Contacting an experienced vehicle defect attorney as soon as possible will help determine if you are within the time frame for filing a claim.
If carbon monoxide poisoning led to death, a wrongful death lawyer can help you file a wrongful death suit against the manufacturer. To get in touch with a lawyer who can help call Roberts & Roberts 24 hours a day 7 days a week 800-248-6000 or if you are more comfortable, you may chat with us online at robertslawfirm.com