Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Keyless cars have a unsafe downside that has killed dozens of people

Keyless cars have a unsafe downside that has killed dozens of people

A report from the New York Times found that dozens of people have been poisoned by carbon monoxide after failing to shut off the keyless ignition on their vehicles. But a wireless key opens the possibility for a driver to exit a auto with the key without turning it off.

The Society of Automotive Engineers called for automakers to have features, like beeps, to warn drivers if their vehicles were still running.

Keyless ignition systems that use start buttons to let drivers to leave key fobs in their pockets provide a lot of convenience, but a new report sheds light on a failed government effort to prevent users from accidentally leaving their cars on.

Keyless ignitions are now standard in over half of cars sold every year. Unfortunately, there's a risky downside, which The New York Times recently discovered. That way, the engine turns off, thereby removing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Despite the standards being in place, a number of deaths continue to occur - causing a group lawsuit to be filed back in 2015 against 10 of the world's biggest carmakers in response to the issues, describing the keyless cars as deadly.

According to a New York Times report published on Sunday, dozens of people have died or been injured by carbon monoxide emitted from keyless-ignition vehicles, but regulations aimed at addressing the phenomenon have stalled.

While the case was dismissed by the judge the following year, it's clear that keyless cars need some sort of indicator across the board in order to avoid causing deaths.

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