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Keyless cars cause deaths after journeys finish

16/05/2018

Keyless cars cause deaths after journeys finish

BBC reports that keyless cars are killing people through carbon monoxide poisoning after they fail to turn the ignition off.

A report by the New York Times (which analysed news reports, lawsuits and police and fire records) found that that 28 people had died and 45 others had suffered injuries since 2006.

More than half of the 17 million vehicles sold annually in the US now have keyless ignitions.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) published safety recommendations in 2011, but SAE director Jack Pokrzywa commented, 'Our standards are voluntary. It is up to the manufacturers to use them where required.'

Keyless ignition systems are becoming more and more popular, due to their ease of use – drivers simply carry a fob in order to enter and start the car without the need for a key. However, once started, the vehicle can still continue to run after the fob is removed from the car.

Some carmakers have voluntarily included warnings for drivers:

Ford introduced a feature in 2013 that automatically turns the engine off after 30 minutes of idling, if the key fob is not in the vehicle

Toyota has a system of three audible signals outside the car and one inside to alert drivers that the motor is still running

A spokesman for Toyota told 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.'

In 2015 a group lawsuit was filed in the US against 10 of the world's biggest carmakers on the issue, which described the technology as 'deadly'. The case was dismissed by a judge, the following year.


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