Remote Start Lawsuit

Americans across the nation are being menaced by defective keyless remote start systems in their vehicles. Such systems can lead to running of engines in unattended vehicles, which then can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. But victims are fighting back with remote start lawsuits.

What is Remote Start?

As for what is a remote start system, it involves using a key “fob” which, on many vehicles, provides remote entry, remote locking and remote opening of a trunk, only in this case the fob also allows remote start. That means a driver need not use a key to start the vehicle, as long as the fob is within it.

In a keyless entry system, how does the engine start? Depending on the auto manufacturer and the type of system installed, that can involve:

  • Pressing an on-off switch to turn the engine on or off
  • Flipping a “rocker” button to start the engine or shut it off
  • Turning a rotary switch to start and then stop the engine

Clearly, a major potential problem of such systems involves leaving the engine running after the driver exits. That’s when carbon monoxide poisoning can occur, especially if the vehicle is left in an enclosed space such as a garage, which may be attached to a home, where gas can seep inside.

Contributing to this problem is the fact that such keyless start systems, as noted above, are inconsistent. After decades of driving, many drivers are unaccustomed to turning off an engine with a button or a switch.

Also, many of today’s vehicles run so smoothly that their engines run almost silently, so a driver may not be aware upon exiting the vehicle that its engine is still running.

What’s more, while some keyless entry systems will start an engine only if the fob is inside the vehicle, they then may allow the engine to remain running after a driver has left the vehicle — while removing the fob. This inconsistency in itself can prove to be fatal.

Remote Start Deaths

Such remote systems have been used largely in luxury vehicles since they were introduced in 2003, but recently more mid-price vehicles also have been equipped with them. An estimated 5 million-plus American cars are equipped with such a system which, in some cases, has led to remote start deaths.

How many people have died as a direct result of defective remote start systems? One tally shows 13 fatalities. Another shows 18. Another cites 19 remote start deaths. Beyond that, far more cases of injuries and “near miss” accidents also have arisen.

These deaths happen when long-running engines with no automatic shutoff system cause a fatal accumulation of toxic carbon monoxide gas. This poisonous gas is colorless and odorless and can overpower if not kill a human without warning.

Victims to date have included:

  • Rina and Pasquale Fontanini of Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, IL. Their car with a remote start ignition accidentally was left with the engine running all night, and the couple was killed by poisonous carbon monoxide gas.
  • Ray Harrington of North Carolina, who died in his home in the year 2012 after his vehicle was left with the engine on in his garage.
  • Mary Rivera, who had permanent brain damage, and companion Ernest Codelia, who died, when her parked Lexus kept running in a garage in Queens, NY in 2009. This led to a wrongful death lawsuit being filed in federal court in Brooklyn, NY, blaming manufacturer Toyota for failure to provide an automatic shutdown switch.
  • A woman, 29, in Boca Raton, FLA, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in August of 2010 when her 2006 Lexus was left with its engine running in her garage.

Remote Start Lawyers

Indeed, remote start lawyers are on the case to fight for such victims’ rights. Some are proceeding with a class-action remote start legal action in federal court in California. Others, such as attorneys provided by the Willis Law Firm, stand ready to help victims or their families with individual keyless start lawsuits.

Such lawsuits can claim compensatory payments from automakers for their defective push-button start or remote start systems. These payments can cover victims’ medical and hospital bills, lost present to future salary and pain and suffering, as well as funeral costs for deceased victims.

Notify the Willis Law Firm today and get a free legal review of your family’s case — at no obligation. You then can decide if you want to proceed with a remote start lawsuit.

Keyless Remote Lawsuit Targets

Targets of a keyless remote lawsuit can include any automaker which makes and sells such a system which proves to be associated with an accidental death by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Auto manufacturers which offer remote start systems include:

  • Volkswagen
  • Hyundai
  • General Motors
  • Fiat Chrysler
  • Honda
  • Ford
  • Nissan
  • BMW
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Toyota

All of these automakers are being targeted in the aforementioned class-action remote start lawsuit.

Remote Start Recall

Have such automakers issued remote start recalls to warn and protect the American public? To a large extent, they have not.

General Motors did recall older Chevy Volt hybrid models recently to install new software to fix the problem. Also, newly made Volt vehicles will have this software. It works by shutting off the car’s engine after several minutes if the key “fob” is removed from the vehicle, presumably as the driver exits.

Other vehicles may have an alarm or alert which warns drivers if they leave a vehicle while the engine remains running. This may involve a beep or a horn’s honk to signal a driver about the problem.

Also being explored are "auto-off" devices for newer vehicles which are being manufactured with keyless ignition systems. However, vehicles already on our roads which lack such an automatic shutoff devices remain potentially deadly.

Remote Start Free Case Review

Americans deserve better. Americans deserve safety. And Americans already injured or killed by defective keyless start systems deserve justice by means of a remote start lawsuit. To start exploring your family’s prospects for a successful lawsuit, get a free case review from the Willis Law Firm.

And don’t worry about paying us, since our personal injury law firm works on a contingency fee basis. That means we aren’t paid at all unless we win your case. And even then, we’re paid only from a portion of the settlement amount in your favor, and not out of your own pocket.

Contact us today, and let’s get started. Justice should not wait.


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