Dangers of Keyless Ignition in Cars

Starting a car with the push of a button must have seemed like some wild fantasy for drivers just 30 years ago. Now, the push-start ignition is a standard feature in most new makes and models sold around the United States. 

Some of the setbacks with this convenience were easy to foresee, like the key fobs being expensive to replace and keep up with. One setback, in particular, has been deadly to these drivers and should raise caution for the others who haven't been affected. 

With no physical key to turn off when you've parked the car in the garage, it's easy to forget to push your car "off" since car engines are quieter than ever in 2018. So while you've gone inside believing your car has been shut off, the vehicle continues to run with the exhaust pumping out carbon monoxide. Within hours your house can turn into a deadly gas trap and there's nothing you would be able to do about it. 

More than 24 people have died this very same way since the keyless ignition went on the market in 2006 with dozens more left injured or with brain damage. Federal regulators have been pushing for some kind of safety feature to prevent these kinds of incidents, such as an audible-beeping mechanism or an automatic shutoff after a certain period of time. 

Even though these are features that could be implemented for pennies on the dollar, automakers have fought back against these regulations for years -- leaving it up to the very same companies fighting safety regulation to voluntarily put in their own safety checks. For example, Toyota has a system of three loud sirens that will go off if the car is left running. 

But in the same breath, Toyota's executives rejected their engineer's recommendation for more effective warning signals. Plenty of other car manufacturers have been guilty of this kind of oversight, though to call it totally unforeseen would be factually incorrect. 

In 2006 the National Highway Safety Administration administered a regulation on keyless ignitions stating “a warning must be sufficient to catch a driver’s attention before he or she exits the vehicle without the keys.” So this rule has been around as long as the keyless ignition feature has been around, but more than 75 incidents later we still have no federal regulations protecting consumers from a potentially deadly run-in with carbon monoxide. 

A class-action lawsuit formed in 2015 with claims the keyless ignition led to 13 carbon-monoxide related deaths, but the suit was dismissed a year later. This hasn't kept other lawsuits from being filed, but as of today, no legal action has been taken against Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, Fiat or any of the other automakers whose cars have been linked to carbon-monoxide related deaths. 

Until there is an adequate incentive, outside peoples' lives, for car companies to take the initiative to make their cars safer, it's on drivers to look out for their own safety. If you own a vehicle with a keyless ignition, make sure your car is off by pushing the button before you exit the car. Put your hand or ear near the hood to feel or hear for vibration just to be careful.
Client Reviews
My wife and I were hit by a tractor trailer in 2014. After extensive research online, we were deeply impressed with the various reviews we read on Google and Avvo and chose Chris to represent us. We could not have a made a better decision. Chris and his firm treated us like we were their only clients, soothed our worries, and instantly gained our trust. Chris settled both of our cases for more than we expected. James
A co-worker of my wife recommended Chris to us. At the very beginning Chris showed that he cared and his knowledge is priceless. Going through this process can be aggravating but Chris did a great job guiding me through this and was always available to answer my questions. Chris fought to get what I deserved even though at times I wanted to give up. Tracy
I want to express my deepest sense of gratitude and appreciation to Attorney Chris Simon & Attorney Chris Carsten, for all the hard work that they put forth into my case (car accident filed after being hit by drunk driver). Their attention to detail and professionalism far surpasses their firm's reputation. Because of their diligence and dedication to their craft, they were able to bring my case to a successful close, one that I could live with. You will not find a better team for your case. Should I have a need for their services again in the future, or know of anyone looking for a top notch Auto Accident Law Firm, I would not hesitate to recommend them!!!! Elle
Wow...Chris is a very good attorney. Me and my son was in a very bad car accident an I was clueless on how to handle the situation. It's very hard to find an attorney who allows you to contact them personally instead of you contacting their asst. I was told that I didn't have a case because the hosiptal put a lien on my acct. Chris prove different and I was able to file my case with the insurance company. The process was very quickly and Im glad I selected the right attorney..Thanks Chris A Car Accident client
Chris is a great lawyer and the most people friendly attorney I have ever delt with. He handled my case with great attention to detail and did so in a very short period of time. He is very consice, efficient, patient and understanding. He has a strong passion for what he does and he does it well. I recommend Chris Simon as legal representation for anyone who has suffreed damages or a loss at the negligence of others. He really cares about you and your case. A Car Accident client