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Keyless Ignitions Blamed for At Least 28 Deaths

15 May 2018

Keyless ignition allows drivers to start their cars with the press of a button while an electronic key fob remains in their pocket or purse.

The report notes keyless ignition systems are now standard on almost half of all new vehicles sold in the United States and this poses an increasing risk as some drivers forget to shut off their engine when they park in their garage.

Some of the deaths have resulted from drivers exiting their cars without realizing they're running. Then, in 2013, the NHTSA launched a probe into seven automakers to find out what safety measures they installed on keyless ignition vehicles.

Keyless cars have a risky downside.

Keyless ignition cars have reportedly contributed to more than two dozen carbon monoxide deaths since 2006.

Victorians will be familiar with a campaign from Energy Safe Victoria warning homeowners to beware of carbon monoxide poisoning, but it focuses on gas heaters and barbecues.

In some cases, the carbon monoxide travels into homes attached to a garage, causing death or serious brain injury to those inside.

The Society of Automotive Engineers, a leading standards group for the auto industry, seven years ago called for requiring automakers to include warning signals - such as a series of beeps - to alert drivers if their cars were left on, according to the Times report.

The National Highway Safety Administration recommends reading your car's manual for more information about the key fob for your keyless ignition works, never getting out of the auto while it is running and taking the key fob with you every time you leave your Vehicle.

Read the full New York Times report.

Keyless Ignitions Blamed for At Least 28 Deaths