Bill to Stop Keyless Ignitions Might Finally Be Gaining Traction in Congress
A new lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Federal Court alleges that several automakers should have recalled millions of vehicles with keyless ignitions because the cars could be a deadly carbon monoxide poisoning risk if the driver fails to press the start/strop button.
According to an ABC News report, the lawsuit states there have been at least 13 deaths so far and a number of close calls as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning after consumers failed to manually shut off their engines.
Several Automakers Named as Defendants
The lawsuit states “reasonable drivers mistakenly believe that removing the keyless fob from the vehicle turns off the engine.”
Keyless vehicles allow drivers to start their engines without inserting a key into the ignition switch. Instead, all they do is press a start/stop button. To shut off the car, they must manually press the button again.
The lawsuit names a number of defendants including Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Kia.
It states that these automakers knew or should have known about the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning that could arise as a result of the ignition not turning off.
The lawsuit further alleges that the automakers sold the keyless fobs without sufficient safeguards, warnings or safety features including one inexpensive auto-off feature that automatically switches the engine off if the car is left unattended.
Some cars have audible alerts, which sound when the drivers exit with the ignition still on.
The Danger of CO Poisoning
Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 get emergency medical attention and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.
Carbon monoxide or CO is a toxic gas that is found in fumes produced by cars, trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.
Since the gas is odorless, people don’t realize that they are inhaling it. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
If you breathe in a lot of carbon monoxide, you could pass out or even die. People who are sleeping when exposed to the gas can die from CO poisoning even before they experience any symptoms.
Protecting Your Rights
If you or a loved one has been injured or if you have lost a loved one as a result of CO poisoning due to a defective auto, please contact an experienced auto product liability attorney to better understand your legal rights.
The best auto defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.