Over the past few years, cars with keyless ignitions have become more and more popular, not just on high-end models but across the board. However, according to some news reports, there are some serious safety concerns about keyless ignition systems that anyone considering a car equipped with one should be aware of.
A keyless ignition system allows for a car to be started without actually putting a key into the ignition and turning it. Instead, a wireless key fob allows for the car to be started anytime the fob is inside the car. Usually, drivers carry the fob in their pocket and start the car with a push of a button. However, there is no “shut-off” mechanism in place in most of these systems, and once the driver gets out of the car the car can continue to run. This has led to a number of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning.
In fact, two years ago, a Pennsylvania couple was found dead in their home. Their Lincoln was still running in the attached garage with the key fob used to start the car still in the vehicle. Instances like this one have led some lawmakers to seriously consider the regulation of keyless ignition systems. While this may seem like an unusual situation, there have been at least 13 confirmed carbon monoxide poisoning deaths caused by cars with keyless ignitions.
The Extent of the Concern
There are 276 models of vehicles equipped with a keyless ignition system, meaning that there are millions of cars on the road with these systems in place. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) endorsed a bill that would require any vehicle with a keyless ignition to alert the driver once he or she gets out of the vehicle. The NHTSA considered a rule that would automatically shut off a vehicle after it has been idling for a certain amount of time. Ultimately, however, the NHTSA did not support that rule.
Auto Safety and Technology
Most of the new technology in the automotive industry is focused on making vehicles safer and more convenient to drive. However, sometimes these two goals are at odds, as is the case with keyless ignition systems. Until federal regulations are announced, it is up to individual manufacturers to determine what features they include on their vehicles.
Product Liability Based on Automotive Technology
Whether it be a keyless ignition system, an airbag system, or any other convenience or safety feature in a vehicle, the vehicle manufacturer is ultimately responsible for the safety of their product. When a feature on a car or truck makes it dangerous to operate, the manufacturer may be held liable through a products liability lawsuit to those who are injured while using it.
Have You Been Injured by a Negligently Designed Vehicle?
Maybe your injuries were worsened by a negligently designed airbag system? Or perhaps a loved one died from carbon monoxide poisoning while a vehicle equipped with a keyless ignition was left running in the garage? In either case, if you or a loved one has recently been injured by a negligently designed feature in a car or truck, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you cover the costs of your injuries. To learn more, contact one of the skilled personal injury advocates at the Maryland-based law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers at 410-654-3600 today.
More Blog Posts:
State Supreme Court Reverses Plaintiff’s Award for Punitive Damages, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published October 7, 2015.
Driver in Tragic Oklahoma Parade Accident May Have Been Acting Intentionally, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published November 3, 2015.