Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

Southern California Personal Injury & Business Lawyers

951.813.2614 Murrieta
619.618.2979 San Diego

Keyless ignition to blame in multiple deaths

People in California who own a car with a keyless ignition may be interested to learn that a number of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning have been associated with the technology. Class action lawsuits are in progress that allege that having an automatic shutoff for safety would have been simple and inexpensive and that manufacturers knew or should have realized the potential danger.

In all, at least 18 deaths have been linked to the keyless vehicles. In one case, a woman inadvertently left her car running over Labor Day weekend and the carbon monoxide seeped into her home. In another, an 84-year-old man in otherwise excellent health left his car on after returning from the grocery store. In that case, the man's daughter, who is an attorney, said the family was frustrated by the lack of response from the federal government.

A Pennsylvania senator has begun pushing the Department of Transportation to take action. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined in December 2011 that the costs to fix the problem were minimal. In February 2016, the NHTSA will issue a ruling for manufacturers, but it is likely they will not be required to fix the problem in older vehicles. However, some advocates are saying that there should be a recall.

A family that loses a loved one after an accident caused by a dangerous product may want to meet with an attorney to discuss the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit. While there is no amount of money that can compensate for the loss, in some cases, damages received in a lawsuit may help support dependents and cover other expenses. Furthermore, the lawsuit itself might be a way of creating publicity about the problem if a company is at fault as in these circumstances.

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