According to a report from the New York Times, at least 28 people have died since 2006 from carbon monoxide poisoning after failing to shut off the keyless ignition on their vehicles.1 (Forty-five others have suffered injuries from the gas as well.)
In 2015, a class action lawsuit claimed there had been 13 carbon monoxide-related deaths linked to keyless ignition cars but a judge dismissed the suit in September 2016; this new report suggests that the problem may be more widespread than previously thought.
Seven years ago the Society of Automotive Engineers (a standards group for the auto industry) suggested a warning signal requirement (like a series of beeps) that would alert drivers if their cars were left on but “the auto industry opposed the rule, and the agency has yet to follow through with the regulation.”2 To date, some carmakers have voluntarily included warning features while others have not.
The Times report found that “Toyota vehicles, including some Lexus vehicles, played a part in almost half of the inadvertent carbon monoxide deaths.”3 But when pressed, Toyota said that their keyless ignition met or exceeded “all relevant federal safety standards.”4
Be careful Health Nuts.