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Saturday, 29 August 2015

BMW, Toyota, eight others sued over keyless ignition

A class action lawsuit has been filed in the United
States against 10 leading car makers, seeking to claim
damages and force car companies to install an
automatic engine shut off device for vehicles fittedu
with keyless ignition.
By virtue of the suit, the plaintiffs are asking that
vehicles with keyless ignition should be able to
automatically shut off when need be, if the car is
unattended or if the key fob is away from the vehicle
for an extended period of time.
The defendants cited in the suit are BMW, Daimler,
Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai,
Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen. Brands also listed, but
which fall under their corporate parents, include Acura,
Bentley, Kia, Lexus, Mini and Infiniti.
According to Reuters, the filing in a Los Angeles district
court revolves around keyless ignition systems with
claims that they are unsafe, and that these car
companies knew they were a hazard but refused to
publicly admit this. It noted that these systems have
led to at least 13 deaths.
With a keyless ignition system, drivers can start and
stop their car’s engine via a button on the dashboard,
as long as they have the car’s key fob in their pocket
or on their person. This contrasts with traditionalu
method of starting and stopping car, which requires
having a key in the ignition barrel and turning it.
There are claims that the 10 automakers knew about
and concealed the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The plaintiffs say that this poisoning occurs when they
exit, with their key fobs, a car that is still running.
Instead of the car shutting its engine off automatically,
the motor keeps on idling, causing the garage and or
other small enclosed space to fill up with poisonous
carbon monoxide gas, which can lead to death.
It’s unknown what amount of compensation the
plaintiffs are looking for in this case, but they are also
seeking an injunction to force car makers in the USA to
install an engine shutdown device in cars fitted with
keyless start.
The suit claims that both GM and Ford have looked into
patenting just such a device in the past.

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