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

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

The New York Times number comes from a variety of sources, including news reports, lawsuits, and police and fire records that have been tracked by advocacy groups.

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. The result: carbon monoxide doing great harm in both garages and homes. Of those, over half come with a keyless ignition system.

Drivers of keyless cars may want to be a little more cautious. But weaned from the habit of turning and removing a key to shut off the motor, drivers - particularly older ones - can be lulled by newer, quieter engines into mistakenly thinking that it has stopped running.

Mr. Schaub is among more than two dozen people killed by carbon monoxide nationwide since 2006 after a keyless-ignition vehicle was inadvertently left running in a garage. Others like Toyota beep several times, if the vehicle is left on, according to the Times.

While automakers have installed warning systems into their keyless-ignition vehicles voluntarily, there is no universal standard among the systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had devised a set of federal regulations, but faced opposition by the auto industry; the rules are still "under consideration", the Times notes.

In terms of fixes to this issue, Kane told The Globe and Mail that "engineering out the problem rather than warning about it is the preferred method to mitigate a hazard".