The lawsuit claimed that the 10 automakers have long known about the risks of keyless ignitions, which have been available in the United States since at least 2003, yet deceived drivers by marketing their vehicles as safe. According to the complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles, carbon monoxide is emitted when drivers leave their vehicles running after taking their electronic key fobs with them, under the mistaken belief that the engines will shut off. Ten of the world’s biggest automakers were sued on Wednesday by U.S. consumers who claim they concealed the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning in more than 5 million vehicles equipped with keyless ignitions, leading to 13 deaths.
- The lawsuit seeks class-action status and an injunction requiring automakers to install automatic shut-off features on all existing and future vehicles sold with keyless ignitions.
- A keyless ignition lets a driver start a vehicle by pushing an on-off button, instead of inserting a key, once the vehicle senses the presence of a nearby electronic fob.
- The 28 named plaintiffs said this can injure or have “deadly” results for people who inhale the colorless and odorless gas, including when vehicles are left in garages attached to homes.