Keyless cars sure seem convenient, but are they really safe? Push-button ignition systems with so-called “smart keys” (or key fob) let you start your car with little or no effort. Great, but…
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and automakers are well aware that keyless car ignitions pose the risk of serious injuries and death when drivers unintentionally leave the engine running upon exiting their vehicle. In the many years since the first keyless ignition systems hit the market, the federal government has failed to mandate that car manufacturers implement safeguards to protect consumers from the dangers associated with these systems, which include carbon monoxide poisoning and injuries caused by cars that roll away – and let’s not forget the risk of property damage and car theft.
The solution seems simple – maybe add an audible alert, similar to existing seatbelt warning systems, to remind drivers that the car is still running. Or surely onboard computers these days must be smart enough to turn off the engine when no one is in or near the vehicle. To learn more about the ongoing efforts of safety advocate Sean Kane and Safety Research & Strategies to urge action from the government and automakers on this issue, check out The Safety Record, “Keyed Up With Anticipation: Smart Key Hazards Still Unresolved,” June 30, 2016, http://www.safetyresearch.net/blog/articles/keyed-anticipation-smart-key-hazards-still-unresolved.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a vehicle with a keyless ignition system, please call us at (312) 828-9666 or contact us by e-mail. The attorneys of Pfaff, Gill & Ports, Ltd. are experienced in prosecuting claims against automakers for their unsafe design and manufacturing defects.