A large group of automakers, including well-known manufacturers like Toyota, Ford, Nissan, GM, Honda, Volkswagen and Mecedes-Benz, are currently facing a class action lawsuit regarding safety hazards created by keyless ignitions.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, August 26 on behalf of millions of Americans, alleges that there have been at least 13 documented deaths, as well as scores of serious injuries, caused by carbon monoxide poisoning after car owners were unable to manually shut off their engines. In the words of the claim, the victims had "mistakenly believ(ed) that removing the keyless fob from the vehicle turns off the engine."
Several of these specific injuries and deaths prompted individual personal injury claims, which were all resolved in confidential settlements.
According to the suit, keyless ignitions were sold "without instituting adequate safeguards, warnings, or other safety features." A particularly shocking omission is an audible engine-on alert or an "auto-off" feature that would automatically shut an engine down if left unattended for a dangerous amount of time.
"Even though an auto-off feature can be implemented without significant effort or cost, the Automakers have refused to act," the suit alleges.
These auto-off features come standard with new vehicles, but automakers have failed to recall older models or provide a software update to add that feature. The claim maintains that the plaintiffs were well aware of the dangers presented by carbon monoxide poisoning, but failed to take any reasonable action to protect their customers from their own vehicles.
If you've been hurt due to another party's negligence and want to find a personal injury attorney to take on your case, contact The Meyers Law Firm. Our staff will review your claim and help you determine what your next steps for legal action should be.