Several years ago, we posted about an Atlanta couple who suffered fatal carbon monoxide poisoning after unknowingly leaving their car ignition on due to a keyless ignition. Their vehicle was a Toyota. Their adult children filed a wrongful death action after their deaths. This is only one of many such deaths and injuries caused by keyless cars. Many are aware that keyless vehicles can make it difficult for drivers to know when the vehicle ignition is off before they close the garage door and enter their homes. A keyless fob makes it possible to walk away from a running vehicle that spews dangerous toxic fumes.
The New York Times has recently published a lengthy piece about this potentially tragic convenience. As many readers know, keyless ignitions are more and more common. Carrying around a fob, rather than a key that turns the vehicle ignition on and off seems like a great improvement since turning a knob or pushing a button is all the driver needs to do to start or stop the ignition. Many newer vehicles in America are keyless. This combined with engines that are much less noisy can be a deadly, particular with older users.
When the ignition remains on in an enclosed garage, the carbon monoxide build up in a garage attached to home can become lethal and has caused death and injury. Carbon monoxide can cause serious brain damage. Carbon monoxide has no color or odor. The gas deprives vital organs, including the brain, of oxygen. Carbon monoxide poisoning may not be fatal if the victims are found early, prior to losing consciousness. But even if a person is saved from this, brain damage can result and cause victims to require lifelong care and support.