Keyless Cars Continue to Pose Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Hazard

Firefighters in Tampa, Florida reported that one man has died and his wife was hospitalized due to the poisonous carbon monoxide that leaked into their home from their unattended, keyless vehicle. According to preliminary statements from investigators, the family’s Mercedes SUV was in the townhouse-connected garage with its engine quietly running, unbeknownst to them. Without a carbon monoxide detection alarm nearby, the family did not know about the accumulation of toxic gas until it was too late.

(You can read a full article from ABC Action News about this recent tragedy by clicking here.)

Staying Safe If You Own a Keyless Vehicle

If you own a keyless, push-button, or remote-start vehicle that you park in an enclosed space, please be aware of the extreme danger the vehicle can create. Make certain you and your family know what to do in the event your vehicle is found running unattended in an enclosed space.

Quick tips about keyless vehicle safety:

  • Always make certain that the engine of your keyless vehicle is off when parking in an enclosed space.
  • Any time you leave your keyless vehicle that the engine has completely shut down. Double-check.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms throughout your home where appropriate, such as near a garage entry and in bedrooms.
  • Early carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
  • If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak in your home, evacuate all people and pets from your home immediately. If possible, open windows and garages you can from the outside. Do not reenter your home until a fire department official deems it safe to reenter.
  • In the event of a carbon monoxide alarm triggering, or someone is exhibiting carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, immediately call 911 and leave the structure.

Keyless Car Dangers Have Been Known for Years

This recent death in Florida is all the more tragic because it was entirely preventable. For years, automakers have known about the intrinsic dangers of keyless vehicles. The power to turn on a car remotely with just a push of a button on a key fob unfortunately invites dangerous accidents.

As early as 2009, reports escalated of people suffering severe injury or death due to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by an unattended, keyless vehicle in a nearby garage. McNabola & Associates, LLC and our Chicago personal injury attorneys have seen the dangers of keyless ignitions and represent the surviving family members of an elderly couple who died in their home in 2013 from carbon monoxide poisoning. The circumstances of their deaths were nearly identical to those described in the recent news story out of Florida.

Auto manufacturers need to install adequate warning systems on their vehicles along with an automatic shut off which turns the engine off after thirty minutes of idling without customer input.

By bringing lawsuits against automakers responsible for creating these dangerous products, we can pursue justice and compensation for the victims of these defective products, and, to pressure these companies to change. Indeed, back in 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggested a new rule for automakers to add distinct alarm systems to keyless vehicles to warn of carbon monoxide dangers. Unfortunately, the auto industry fought NHTSA regarding these safety procedures.

Call McNabola & Associates, LLC at (312) 888-8700

Our Chicago carbon monoxide poisoning attorneys are serious about representing people who have suffered injury or the loss of a loved one due to poorly designed keyless vehicles. Please contact us at your first convenience to discuss how we can help you seek fair compensation for victims of corporate negligence. Free case evaluations are available.

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