Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Keyless cars blamed for dozens of carbon monoxide deaths

Keyless cars blamed for dozens of carbon monoxide deaths Keyless cars blamed for dozens of carbon monoxide deaths
Melinda Barton | 17 May, 2018, 15:12

According to a new report by the New York Times, since 2006, more than two dozen people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning when a keyless vehicle was accidentally left running inside a garage.

Drivers of keyless cars may want to be a little more cautious.

Victorians will be familiar with a campaign from Energy Safe Victoria warning homeowners to beware of carbon monoxide poisoning, but it focuses on gas heaters and barbecues.

Read the full New York Times report.

The problem with keyless cars causing the deaths of over 28 people since 2006 has to do with users failing to turn of the ignition on the cars.

While convenient, keyless cars can sometimes have a deadly effect, according to a report from the New York Times. In a vehicle with a key, a driver has to turn and remove the key to turn off the engine.

The convenience of the keyless cars may not be worth it if they are causing deaths, however, and there have been a non-insignificant number of injuries reported.

Both the Times and The Globe and Mail believe these numbers are on the conservative side. Ford's keyless-ignition vehicles will shut off if the key fob is not detected in the vehicle for 30 minutes, while Fiat Chrysler and Mazda vehicles will alert drivers when the key fob is not inside a running auto, but will not automatically turn it off.

Some of the deaths have resulted from drivers exiting their cars without realizing they're running.

According to a spokesman for Toyota in an interview with the BBC, "Customer safety is always our priority and Toyota's Smart Key System has and continues to meet or exceed all relevant safety standards". Others like Toyota beep several times, if the vehicle is left on, according to the Times.

Keyless ignitions are now standard in over half of cars sold every year.

In 2011, the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed regulation for warning systems in keyless vehicles.