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California Lawsuit Alleges Keyless Ignitions Pose Serious Risks

Many vehicles now come equipped with keyless ignitions that allow drivers to start their cars with the press of a button. While the new technology may be convenient, it could also pose serious risks.

As reported by ABC News, vehicles with keyless ignitions allow drivers to press a button to start their engines rather than inserting a key. To shut off the car, they must manually press the button again. The problem is that sometimes drivers forget to press the button and unknowingly leave the vehicles running.

To date, at least 13 people have died of carbon monoxide poisoning after failing to manually shut off their engines, while many others have suffered close calls. As set forth in a recently filed California lawsuit, “Reasonable drivers mistakenly believe that removing the Keyless Fob from the vehicle turns off the engine.”

Despite the fatalities, automakers have failed to install additional safety measures. “For years the Automakers have known about the deadly consequences that can result when a driver exits a vehicle without the keyless fob and without having depressed the Start/Stop button. Nevertheless, even though an Auto-Off feature can be implemented without significant effort or cost, the Automakers have refused to act,” the suit alleges.

While some auto manufacturers have implemented new safety features in later models, they have not recalled older vehicles that do not have an auto-off feature. The suit further maintains that carmakers continue to conceal the safety risks by failing to include warnings in vehicle manuals or sales brochures.

We will continue to track the status of the suit and will post updates as they become available.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a dangerous or defective vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego product liability attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.