Like rear back-up cameras, keyless ignitions are becoming standard in many vehicles today. Often, folks consider this feature as both convenient and a way to deter car theft. It appears, however, that we may have more to consider when checking the box for this feature at the dealership.
Yesterday, NBC News (1/5/16, Weisbaum) reported on keyless automobile ignition systems, which critics say are fatally flawed. Per the article, president of a safety group called KidsAndCars.org advised that at least nineteen deaths have been documented as specifically attributed to vehicles with keyless ignition systems since 2009. In the same time frame, twenty five “close calls” were logged.
You’re probably wondering how the heck a keyless system could be the cause of fatalities. Well, the danger lies in forgetting to turn the car off, since removal of the key is not required. If the car is left running in an enclosed garage, carbon monoxide emitted from the car could easily flow into the attached house. If this happens, so does an increased risk of sickness or death.
In many keyless ignition system vehicles, owners can leave the car with the fob in hand. The engine will continue to run until its fuel supply is depleted. While the fob is required to turn on the car, it typically does not have anything to do with turning the car off.
The current keyless ignition systems have “an inherent design defect,” according to Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies and a researcher and consultant for plaintiffs’ lawyers in consumer-product cases. The way he sees it, manufacturers changed the relationship between the driver and the key and without warning them of the resulting safety hazard.
In the past five years, the number of cars with keyless ignition systems has nearly doubled, from approximately 144 models in 2010 to 276 models in 2015.
An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help.
If you or a loved one has suffered illness or has died in a keyless ignition related incident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. As a law firm which represents the injured and loved ones of the deceased, we offer a complimentary professional evaluation of your case and explain your legal rights and options. Contact Baskerville Law, LLC at (505) 247-2774. Our personal injury attorney will answer your questions and let you know if working with an attorney is in your best interest.