Keyless cars blamed for dozens of carbon monoxide deaths


Lloyd Alter view from carport in Frank Lloyd Wright's Duncan House CC BY 2.0

According to a new report by the New York Times, since 2006, more than two dozen people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning when a keyless vehicle was accidentally left running inside a garage. No inserting and turning of a key is required to start the ignition.

Drivers of keyless cars may want to be a little more cautious.

The Society of Automotive Engineers called for automakers to have features, like beeps, to warn drivers if their vehicles were still running.

Some drivers, however, according to the New York Times-potentially accustomed to thinking their vehicle is off, if they have the keys with them-are getting out of the auto while the engine is still running.

The convenience of the keyless cars may not be worth it if they are causing deaths, however, and there have been a non-insignificant number of injuries reported. To date, although automobile makers have installed warning systems into their keyless-ignition cars voluntarily, there are no universe standards for each system. That way, the engine turns off, thereby removing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Keyless cars have a risky downside.

Despite the standards being in place, a number of deaths continue to occur - causing a group lawsuit to be filed back in 2015 against 10 of the world's biggest carmakers in response to the issues, describing the keyless cars as deadly.

However, that suit was dismissed by a judge in 2016.

Each year, 17 million new cars are sold in the United States.

A class-action lawsuit linked to carbon monoxide deaths and keyless cars was dismissed by a NY judge in 2016.

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