The death of a Florida woman from carbon monoxide poisoning is one of several that has prompted a U.S. senator to demand that keyless ignition systems in automobiles be made safer. The Florida death was one of six in 2015 that happened when cars with keyless ignition systems were left running.
Unlike a traditional car that requires a key in the ignition, keyless ignition vehicles can still run after the driver has left the car and taken the fob. This technology has sometimes led drivers to inadvertently leave their cars running after they have left them parked.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declared this problem with keyless ignition systems a serious one in 2011. The agency proposed a requirement for cars to be equipped with audible alarms to warn drivers if they accidentally leave the car running when exiting the vehicle, but it has not yet implemented this idea. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has stated that four years is enough time and something must now be done.
The NHTSA has set February 2016 as the deadline for its final ruling, and says that it will only affect newly manufactured cars. Sen. Casey believes that cars currently on the roads should be included as well, and he has said that he may ask for congressional action if that is not the case.
Several lawsuits against automakers are currently underway on behalf of customers who purchased keyless ignition vehicles. According to a Scripps News investigation, at least 18 deaths related to keyless ignition systems have occurred since 2009.
When someone dies as the result of an automobile defect, a wrongful death lawsuit could be brought against the automobile manufacturer. A personal injury attorney can assist in determining if any other parties should be held responsible as well.