According to a variety of sources at least 13 people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning because of keyless ignition.
Consumerist.com reports that a class-action lawsuit has been filed against 10 major automakers as a result of these deaths. The lawsuit alleges that auto manufacturers failed to properly warn consumers about the dangers of keyless ignition, a system that allows drivers to start their car using an on/off button rather than having to insert a key. Drivers, either by years of habit or because they simply weren’t properly informed, believe that removing the keyless fab turns the car off. The engine is so quiet that they can’t tell that the car is still running. As CO builds up in the garage during the night and seeps into the home people are dying from CO poisoning.
According to the plaintiffs, 27 complaints were filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 2009, complaints to which the auto manufacturers turned a deaf ear.
A simple fix that would automatically turn the engine off when the key fab is a certain distance away from the car or a safety feature that sets off an alarm after a certain amount of time with the car not moving seem to be easy to implement.
Named in the lawsuit are Toyota, Ford Motor Company, Nissan Honda, BMW, Mercedes -Benz, Volkswagen, Bentley, General Motors, Hyundai and Kia.
You can access the class action lawsuit here.