Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. The odorless, colorless gas is emitted from some defective home appliances, as well as from car exhaust. The risk it presents is far greater now than ever before, given the advent of keyless cars.
Most people are fully aware of the danger inherent in leaving a running car parked in a garage attached to their home. Car exhaust emits carbon monoxide, which can be deadly in a very short period of time. Carbon monoxide builds up quickly in the blood due to an attraction to hemoglobin. Initial symptoms include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and confusion. At least 20 people have died in circumstances relating to keyless ignition vehicles left running in attached garages.
With a keyless ignition system, the car engine both starts and stops with the simple push of a button on the dashboard. While the key must be located inside the vehicle for it to start, there is no ignition slot. It can be very easy for a driver to keep the “key fob” in a purse or pocket because its exact location does not affect the operation of the vehicle.
The problem occurs when a driver exits the vehicle, taking the key. Because the key need not be used to turn the vehicle off, many drivers get out of the car and forget to turn the engine off. This can be particularly true with hybrid vehicles because the gasoline engine may not be running when the car is parked.
Some vehicle manufacturers have implemented audible warning systems and automatic shut-offs to reduce the danger associated with carbon monoxide being released into attached garages. However, to date, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet been successful in implementing a rule requiring a mandatory alert.
Incredibly, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers refuses to acknowledge the valuable role an alarm could play in saving lives, stating that “No rationale has been offered for concluding that the proposed audible alarms would actually reduce the identified risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.”
In the meantime, you can take action to protect yourself and your family. Make sure you install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home. Better yet, use interconnected carbon monoxide alarms so that they all sound a warning when only one is triggered. These inexpensive devices could be the difference between life and death.
Our attorneys have blogged before about the dangers inherent in keyless ignition systems. That’s because we believe that automakers have an obligation to fix this problem in older keyless vehicles. When injury occurs due to their failure, get experienced legal help.
Having represented those injured due to defective products and their loved ones for more than 20 years, I know the professional help an experienced personal injury attorney can provide. We will work with you to obtain unmatched results.
If you need help, contact us. That’s what we do.