People are generally aware that there are some risks inherent to the ownership and operation of vehicles. Such risks, typically, come in the form of motor vehicle accidents. However, as the New York Times recently detailed, there is another silent – but just as deadly – risk faced by owners of vehicles equipped with keyless ignitions: Carbon monoxide poisoning. Since 2006, dozens of cases – including fatalities – have been reported.
The dangers come from a combination of drivers who are habituated to removing a key from the car to turn off an engine and the quiet efficiency of today’s car motors. Thinking the engine is off when they remove the fob from the car, a driver will simply leave their attached garage and enter their home – not hearing that the engine is still running. Those who survive don’t realize what is happening until they feel the ill effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. Others are less fortunate.
A few automakers, notably Ford and Mazda have taken additional precautions and installed safety devices in their vehicles to help protect car owners from the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning. Other automakers, however, have failed to follow suit. And even today, with so much attention focused on the perils presented by keyless ignitions, the engines in such vehicles will continue running until all the fuel is spent – pumping carbon monoxide gas into the garage and attached home.
If a New York resident – or a loved one – suffered ill effects from keyless ignition-related carbon monoxide poisoning, they may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering, medical expenses and other losses due to exposure to the gas. A law firm experienced in product liability and personal injury litigation can help to make sure that victims’ rights are protected. A seasoned lawyer can help to ensure that victims of carbon monoxide poisoning from keyless vehicles get the compensation they are entitled to.