Major car manufacturers in the US currently have a class action law suit on their hands as they are being sued over the safety of their keyless cars. The petitioners have submitted the appeal stating that the keyless ignition system that most of their new cars share has a deadly defect.
As most of you may know, keyless cars are the raging new trend. These cars have gotten rid of the need to put keys in ignitions and instead rely on the driver to push a simple button as long as they have the required “key fob” inside the car. The fob serves as the modern key which prevents thieves from stealing your car. The flaw in question is that once the car has been started, it will remain running even if the fob has left the vehicle. This, as you can imagine has dire consequences for forgetful drivers.
The lawsuit has cited cases in which drivers had forgotten to turn off their cars in enclosed spaces, which led to the inevitable buildup of carbon monoxide seeping into the living premises. According to the lawsuit, this has led to 13 deaths and many more injuries.
This feature is being considered especially deadly in the newer hybrid models which are known for their quiet running engines as drivers don’t have an audible clue if they had left the engine running or not.
General Motors (GM) recently recalled the older models of the Chevrolet Volt to fix this specific issue with a software patch while also ensuring that the newer models have the fix installed at stock. This fix makes the car turn off after a few minutes after the fob leaves the premises of the vehicle. Of course, one may argue that this can lead to unwanted shut offs, but considering the number of deaths involved in the case already, GM isn’t taking any more chances which might ruin their reputation further.
Other vehicle manufacturers have also introduced features such as horn beeps to notify the drivers or ensuring it turns off, once the fob leaves the car. However, according to the lawsuit that feature is only available in the latest models and most car manufacturers such as General Motors, Fiat, Toyota, Honda, and others still haven’t issued the same courtesy towards their older models which are still running on the road.
One car manufacturer which surprisingly wasn’t on the “to be sued” list was Ford Motors. They acknowledged this fact and issued a statement saying, “Ford takes the safety of our customers very seriously; the keyless ignition system has proven to be a safe and reliable innovative feature that has been well-received by customers. Ford vehicles equipped with keyless ignition alert drivers when the driver’s door is open and the vehicle’s engine is running.”
Other aforementioned manufacturers have still to make a public statement regarding the class action lawsuit and when approached by media sources either didn’t reply or declined to reply stating that they hadn’t seen the lawsuit yet.