Remote Start Carbon Monoxide Deaths

Today’s vehicles run so quietly that it may not be apparent when a parked vehicle’s engine is on. That may make it a silent killer, since engines running in parked cars can lead to carbon monoxide deaths — which has happened regularly with remote start systems.

The problem is that new remote start systems which make it easy to start a car via keyless ignition also can make it easy to forget to turn the engine off. Though a keyless fob in a driver’s pocket or purse must be present for an engine to start via a simple on-off button or switch, leaving the car with the fob will not turn it off.

Given the nearly silent engines of many cars today, and the procedural change of an on-off button to start and stop engines, such accidents can happen regularly. They are deadly because, if a vehicle is left in an enclosed garage attached to a house, colorless, odorless carbon monoxide gas can seep into the home and kill occupants, as has occurred across the nation.

Keyless Start Poisoning Deaths

Already, more than a dozen remote start deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning have been reported. Concerns have been raised by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and lawsuits have been filed on behalf of victims, including a class action lawsuit in federal court in California.

Victims’ families, safety experts and injury attorneys all have argued that simple and inexpensive fixes are readily available, but automakers have been slow to respond.

One fix is to provide a beep or a horn honk to alert drivers when they’ve exited a car while taking the keyless ignition fob with them and the engine is still running. Another fix is to provide an automatic shutoff device so that vehicles left unattended with their engines running will have the engines shut off automatically soon after a driver exits.

Consumer Reports, a trusted magazine for America’s consumers, advocates “a simple reminder” such as an audible alert, saying, “We would like to see it on every car with push-button start/stop.”

Cars With Audible Alerts

The magazine cites some brands of vehicles which already have audible alerts on some vehicles. They include:

  • Ford
  • GM
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Mazda
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Subaru
  • Toyota

Consumer Reports also lists some brands of vehicles which lack an audible alert. They include:

  • Chrysler
  • Land Rover
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo

Automakers Slow to Act

As noted, some audible alerts are being provided in some vehicles, as are some automatic shutoffs. But largely these are for new models just being manufactured.

That leaves millions of other vehicles with remote start systems — but lacking alerts or automatic engine-off — still on our roads. In fact, no nationwide remote start recall has been issued by automakers.

This failure to address a clear and present danger compels consumer groups, safety experts and injury lawyers to act.

Keyless Remote Lawsuit

If someone in your family was injured or killed by toxic carbon monoxide after a keyless ignition vehicle ran while unattended, notify the Willis Law Firm immediately. We can provide you with a free, no-obligation legal review of your case and advise you on your prospects for a successful keyless remote lawsuit.

Such a keyless start lawsuit can claim payments for your losses due to this disturbing auto defect, including money for pain, suffering, lost wages and medical bills.

Contact our law firm today, and let us help you claim payments — and justice — for a remote start carbon monoxide death or injury.