Dozens of people in the United States have died because of the dangers posed by keyless ignitions, basically a push-button starter that allows drivers to keep their key fobs in their pockets. According to The News Wheel, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), announced the introduction of the Protecting Americans from the Risks of Keyless Ignition Technology (PARK IT) Act to protect consumers from the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and vehicle rollaways that have been linked to keyless technology in vehicles. The flaw in push-button technology is that engines can be so quiet that drivers park their vehicles in an attached garage forgetting to turn the engine off.
The Need for Prompt Legislation
The PARK IT Act requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to finalize a rule that vehicles automatically shut off after a period of time to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and a rule that sets a performance standard to prevent rollaways. Blumental said NHTSA’s failure to act has had fatal consequences and that the legislation will require the agency to do what it should have done eight years ago – protect drivers and families from injuries and death by finalizing some of the basic safety standards that force automakers to address the risk of carbon monoxide and rollaways associated with keyless ignitions.
Keyless ignitions are now standard in more than half of the 17 million new vehicles sold annually nationwide. In May 2018, The New York Times reported that at least 28 deaths and 45 injuries since 2006 attributable to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by vehicles that have keyless ignitions that are inadvertently left idling. Drivers who were involved in these incidents range in age from 20s to 80s. Since that report came out, five more have died due to these keyless ignitions. The legislation currently on the table has been endorsed by several safety advocates and has a good chance of passing. It appears to have bipartisan support as well. There is also no known opposition to it in the Trump Administration.
As auto defect lawyers, we cannot stress enough the importance of such legislation that could potentially prevent the senseless loss of life due to these design defects in vehicles. If you have lost a loved one due to keyless ignition issues, whether it’s due to carbon monoxide poisoning or rollaway risks, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the automakers involved. A reputed auto defect law firm can help guide you toward securing maximum compensation for your losses.