Deadly convenience: Keyless cars and their carbon monoxide toll

Katie Ramirez
May 16, 2018

"We're aware of 25 deaths involving carbon monoxide in motor vehicles with keyless ignitions which have been left running unintentionally in an enclosed space", Sean Kane, founder and president of Massachusetts-based consulting firm Safety Research and Strategies Inc., told The Globe and Mail.

The problem with keyless cars causing the deaths of over 28 people since 2006 has to do with users failing to turn of the ignition on the cars.

In 2011, the Society of Automotive Engineers recommended that automakers include visual or sonic warnings to alert drivers who leave their vehicles running without a key fob inside.

"Our standards are voluntary".

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Rather than a physical key, drivers carry a fob that transmits a radio signal, and as long as the fob is present, a auto can be started with the touch of a button. To date, although automobile makers have installed warning systems into their keyless-ignition cars voluntarily, there are no universe standards for each system.

Keyless cars have a unsafe downside. Since 2006, the Times reports at least 28 people have died and 45 others have suffered injuries from the gas after it seeped into their homes. Unfortunately, there's a unsafe downside, which The New York Times recently discovered.

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

While the case was dismissed by the judge the following year, it's clear that keyless cars need some sort of indicator across the board in order to avoid causing deaths.

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