Keyless Push Start System in Cars Caused Dozens Of Deaths

Since 2006, 28 people have died and 45 have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning in cars equipped with a non-contact keyless push start system. People just forgot to turn off the ignition, the New York Times informs.

Journalists collected information from human rights organizations, which are based on media reports, police records, fire services data and lawsuits. This is hardly accurate statistics and, probably, there are more such cases.

Every year, 17 million cars are sold just in the USA, and more than half of them have the technology that lets start a car with a button next to the steering wheel. The connection is done from the driver’s key fob.

The engine is not on until the system recognizes the key fob. After the engine is started, it will continue working, even if the driver with the key fob goes out.

If you forget the car in the garage with the motor switched on, poisonous colorless and odorless carbon monoxide emits. In some cases, this dangerous gas penetrated into the houses.

In 2015, an initiative group filed a lawsuit against 10 world’s largest automakers in the USA. The technology of keyless start was claimed to be ‘deadly’, but the court withheld the suit.

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Nevertheless, some automakers followed the advice of the US Society of Automotive Engineers and added reservations to operation manuals, in particular, Ford in 2013 introduced updates requiring to turn the engine off after half an hour of idling if the system does not detect the key fob inside the cabin.

Toyota introduced a system of signals alerting the driver in case the engine is on.

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