Keyless cars lead to fatal errors for dozens in US

15 May, 2018, 03:29 | Author: Arnold Perez
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Keyless ignition allows drivers to start their cars with the press of a button while an electronic key fob remains in their pocket or purse.

Mr. Schaub is among more than two dozen people killed by carbon monoxide nationwide since 2006 after a keyless-ignition vehicle was inadvertently left running in a garage.

A class-action lawsuit linked to carbon monoxide deaths and keyless cars was dismissed by a NY judge in 2016. Seven years ago, the Society of Automotive Engineers called for requiring automakers to include warning signals - such as a series of beeps to warn drivers.

While automakers have installed warning systems into their keyless-ignition vehicles voluntarily, there is no universal standard among the systems.

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According to The Times, there have been at least 28 deaths and 45 injuries caused by carbon monoxide emitted from vehicles with keyless ignitions since 2006.

Some automakers have designed newer models that alert drivers more insistently when the engine is left running - or that shut it off after a certain period. But many older vehicles have not been retrofitted to reduce the hazard. And litigation against the companies is mounting. Sometimes, drivers mistakenly believe their cars are off after parking them, which can result in carbon monoxide filling their garages and homes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) then proposed a federal regulation inspired by the recommendation, but the regulation received opposition from the auto industry and has yet to be implemented, according to The Times.

The auto industry opposed the proposal, and a trade group asserted that the regulator's use of vehicle owners' questionnaires to compile a database of defects did not meet the evidence standards of federal vehicle-safety law. "Once NHTSA has finished its review and determined the best path forward, NHTSA will take appropriate action", the agency said in March in a statement to the Times.

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