Motorists of keyless ignition vehicles and their families face a life-threatening danger that is gaining attention in the courts after a class-action lawsuit has been filed recently. The lawsuit which has been brought against ten car manufacturers, (Toyota, Nissan, Kia, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Hyundai, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen), hinges on a plea for the auto giants to add an automatic shut-off mechanism to the keyless ignition vehicles. This legal action is groundbreaking since the previous lawsuits regarding this issue were brought by individuals. It is estimated that this class-action lawsuit places the over 5 million owners of vehicles with keyless ignition systems as plaintiff.
While keyless ignition systems has not become standard, it is a coveted feature that is being offered and found on many vehicles today, regardless of class or price. The technology is simple. Instead of using a car key, you press a button to start your vehicle. A key fob component sends a computerized signal to the ignition omitting the need for an actual key. The inherent hazard is that the car can remain on though the key fob is not present and may be far away.
As it stands many of the older versions of these vehicles do not have an automatic shut-off and though the driver has taken the key fob with them they may accidentally leave the car running. Unfortunately, this scenario has tragically played out in several instances wherein the automobile was mistakenly left running in a garage or other confined space and deadly carbon monoxide was able to seep into the living spaces of the dwelling, claiming lives in its wake. There has been a reported 13 lives lost.
Some newer year models featuring the keyless ignition mechanism have been tailored with the relatively inexpensive automatic shut-off feature while the millions of owners of the older cars remain unaware of the safety defect. It is hoped that the lawsuit will prompt the automobile manufacturers to recall the vehicles so that the automatic shut-off feature can be installed onto the vehicles who do not currently have it.