NEW YORK – You don’t have to turn the key anymore to get the engine revving in your car anymore. We have buttons for that. What was once a sci-fi idea is now the norm but consumer safety advocates are warning car owners about the dangers associated with keyless ignitions.
Several people have walked away from their vehicles, taking the keys with them but they forget to turn off the engine. Long Island defective product attorneys say this common mistake can be deadly.
“Some people have died because they accidentally left their car running in an attached garage on Long Island,” defective product attorney Steve Barnes said. “The carbon monoxide from the engine can build up inside the garage and sometimes even seep into your home – and this gas is deadly.”
Many cars have no alarms to detect the build-up of carbon monoxide and most don’t have an automatic shut-off. An ABC News investigation found it took just two and a half hours for the carbon monoxide to build-up to lethal levels. Experts say a person could feel the effects immediately and possibly lose consciousness within just five minutes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently proposed a requirement that would equip all vehicles with an audible alarm but officials have not mandated this piece of equipment. Currently, public comments are under review and NHTSA officials plan to make a final ruling in February.
“Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and deadly,” Barnes said. “Unfortunately, several people have died because they didn’t receive any kind of warning that there were elevated levels of the gas entering their garage and home – that seems unacceptable.”
At least 13 people have died because automakers concealed the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to a new lawsuit. Nearly 30 consumers filed the lawsuit against 10 major car manufacturers in federal court, accusing the companies of failing to warn drivers about the “deadly defect” associated with keyless ignition.
Nearly 30 complaints were submitted to the NHTSA since 2009. Since then, several lawsuits have been filed claiming automakers knew about the risks associated with keyless ignition and instead of addressing the dangers, companies continued to market their vehicles as ‘safe.’
Barnes and the Long Island defective product attorneys at Cellino & Barnes hope the lawsuits force automakers to design safer vehicles and equip cars and trucks with technology to alert people of rising carbon monoxide levels.
“Unfortunately, many families have already suffered an injury or a loss due to carbon monoxide poisoning,” Barnes said. “These families could be entitled to significant compensation because these accidents could have been prevented.”
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury or wrongful death due to carbon monoxide, Long Island defective product attorneys at Cellino & Barnes offer free case evaluations. Contact a lawyer today to discuss your claim.