Atlanta residents can learn the lesson of a local family that suffered a different type of vehicle injury — carbon monoxide poisoning from a keyless ignition. This growing problem is now being widely publicized, but something more is needed before there are more families who are impacted by this issue. ABC News reports that an injury lawsuit was recently filed in Los Angeles federal district court against a number of vehicle manufacturers whose cars include keyless ignitions. And an Atlanta news report has investigated this problem and has revealed injuries and deaths from keyless car ignitions across the nation. Many of us own vehicles with the type of ignition that caused injury to a Marietta infant and his mother. At the time of the carbon monoxide injury, the infant and his mom were living in Florida. The child’s mother apparently left the car ignition on, but did not know she had. In an innocent moment she hit a button to close the garage door so that she could take a business call, but she did not hit her car ignition button. This meant that the vehicle was actually still running while she went into the home. This mistake nearly cost her dearly. Fortunately, her baby woke her up in the middle of the night crying. And her own symptoms were significant enough to realize that something was very wrong and they were able to get out of the house before they both perished.
Keyless ignition presents the potential for a very dangerous situation. Many of us were unaware of this potential. Sadly, an Atlanta family whose parents resided in Greenville, lost them after they went to sleep not knowing that they had left their keyless ignition vehicle on in their garage. They filed a lawsuit against Toyota, the vehicle’s manufacturer, which has been settled. Another Chicago area family has filed a similar action for wrongful death of their parents whose vehicle was left on in their garage and who perished from carbon monoxide poisoning. The potential for Atlanta keyless ignition carbon monoxide poisonings are something about which we all need to be aware. It is very important to have carbon monoxide detectors in our homes, that warn of high levels of the odorless, colorless gas.
One would hope that vehicle manufacturers will address this very real danger before others are harmed or killed. However, we know from other situations, such as the growing controversy over faulty air bags and the scandal involving VW emissions, that car manufacturers are often not quick to act when they should. Now that the numbers of carbon monoxide poisoning injuries and deaths are rising from this silent killer, car makers cannot ignore the problem. Although cars with these keyless ignitions are also programmed with warnings, apparently they do not work well. Most of these vehicles do not have any audible warning system when the key is taken from the vehicle with the ignition still on. Currently, the vehicles that include this type of ignition do not have adequate warnings. If the driver is not in the vehicle and a message appears on the dash that the ignition is still on, that is little protection from potential injury or death. Something more is needed to avoid more injuries and deaths. Advocates for change are seeking an audible warning system or an automatic shut off for keyless ignition vehicles. As consumer advocates, we agree that something must be done as soon as feasible.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a defective vehicle or product, help may be available to you and you may well have legal rights and remedies. Please contact Scholle Law for a free consultation and evaluation of your situation.