Keyless Ignition Accident Lawyer
Keyless ignition deaths—carbon monoxide poisoning and rollaway fatalities- have been documented for over a decade, but car manufacturers have been too slow to implement automatic engine shutdown features. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has only recently taken steps to address these issues.
Smart keys and keyless ignitions have lead to at least 37 deaths nationwide, according to Safety Research & Strategies. Dozens of others have been injured, many left with brain damage.
At The Killino Firm we believe that automakers have a responsibility to American consumers and should be held accountable for making and selling defective products. Our keyless ignition accident lawyers are experts at digging deep and fighting foreign manufacturers and other companies and individuals that want to save a few pennies but in the process put American’s safety at risk.
Keyless Ignition Issues
Keyless Ignitions are now standard in 245 models and optional in 31 others. The automotive website Edmunds.com https://www.edmunds.com/car-technology/going-keyless.html reports that by 2018, it was standard equipment on 62 percent of vehicles sold. Although there are advantages to the keyless system, convenience can never outweigh safety. With a combination of keyless ignition and exceptionally quiet engines, it’s understandable how some people forget to turn off the motor when leaving their car.
Keyless Ignition Rollaways
Many people have also been injured or suffered property damage as a result of leaving the vehicle before putting the transmission in park. With a softly running engine and no key to disengage, drivers can inadvertently step out of the car while it’s in gear, allowing it rollaway and possibly hit another vehicle, wall or other obstacle. Or cause injury to others.
Keyless Ignition Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Monoxide deaths and injuries have been reported when cars either failed to shut down or were accidentally left running when the driver and key fob left the vehicle. Deaths have occurred when the car is left running parked in the garage and the home fills with the deadly gas. In at least one case, firefighters at the scene were also rushed to hospital for the treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. It deprives the heart, brain and other vital organs of oxygen. Many victims who survive must live with irreversible brain damage.
A Florida fire chief saw so many cases that he took to handing out carbon monoxide detectors and signs for residents to display in their garages, with the message: “Carbon Monoxide Kills. Is Your Car Off?”
What Has Been Done
Although The Killino Firm has recovered millions in compensation for our clients, our true accomplishment is promoting safer highways for every American and his/her family.
According to Edmunds.com, automakers have responded to the problems associated with keyless ignitions by implementing a variety of solutions. Some models sound an alert if the ignition fob is removed from the vehicle with the motor idling. Some vehicles are equipped with devices that automatically shift their transmissions into park when a door opens. And a few systems will automatically shut off the engine if it’s left idling for more than a specified amount of time.
Although the NHTSA in 2011 said keyless vehicles posed a “clear safety problem “ and it proposed several regulations https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2006-04-07/pdf/06-3358.pdf that would make these safety features mandatory for all keyless systems, no federal rules have yet been instituted. But The Park It Act is pending in Congress. If passed, it would require all vehicles to shut off after a period of time. One Senator said the “federal government is guilty and should have stepped in years ago.” reported NBC Miami News.
Critics say a proposal for a warning alarm isn’t enough and they are urging the NHTSA to require an auto-shut-off.
A survey of 17 car companies by The New York Times found that some automakers go beyond the features recommended by the standards group, but others fall short, particularly Toyota.
Toyota and Lexus Models
About half of documented deaths involve Toyota or Lexus Models, but the manufacturer has been almost the last to make any safe shutdown features. Starting with 2020 models, an automatic shutoff feature that will cutoff the engine after a certain amount of time if it’s left running will be included with Toyota vehicles.
Toyota features the “Smart Key” system and Lexus offers “Smart Access.” Toyota says its keyless ignition system “meets or exceeds all relevant federal safety standards.”
Other Car Manufacturers
GM and Ford, implemented similar automatic engine shut down features in 2013. Ford told the Reuters news service it takes safety “very seriously,” adding that its keyless ignition systems have been proven “safe and reliable.”
Ford calls its system “Intelligent Access” and Nissan named theirs “Intelligent Key.” BMW has “Comfort Access.” Audi uses “Advanced Key.” The GM system is “Passive Entry Passive Start.”
Ford’s keyless vehicles have a feature that automatically turns off the engine after 30 minutes of idling if the key fob is not in the vehicle, the company said recently. (According to a federal lawsuit, Ford began introducing the feature in 2013.)
At The Killino Firm, we recognize that these keyless ignition deaths and injuries often change our clients’ lives forever. As a result, our keyless ignition death lawyer
and carbon monoxide death lawyer will provide personalized and caring representation, while zealously fighting for our clients at every stage of their cases, including trial, if necessary.
Victims of auto injuries hire The Killino Firm, because they know we will thoroughly investigate every automobile injury and that our clients will receive all of the compensation they are entitled to. We employ a team of attorneys, paralegals and investigators knowledgeable about keyless ignition car accidents.
We also understand that our clients have suffered serious, at times catastrophic, injuries, and need a law office that will deal with the insurance companies and guide the clients and their families through the maze of medical care and treatment that they face.
What You Can Do
The NHTSA advises reading your owner’s manual carefully so you know how to operate your vehicle’s keyless ignition system properly. It also says it’s essential to develop good driver habits, such as making sure your car is in park and the engine is shut off before departing from the vehicle. The NHTSA also suggests watching its video on basic safety tips for living with keyless ignitions.