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Our South Florida Car Accident Lawyers are Here to Help with Your Keyless Ignition Accidents

Since the Ford Model T rolled off the assembly line back in 1908, cars have become increasingly more complex and advanced.  The self-driving car is already on the road, and vehicles with keyless ignition switches are manufactured by many different manufacturers.  If fact, it is estimated that more than 17 million cars in the United States have keyless ignition switches.  While some of the technology built in to modern cars make the vehicles safer in a car accident, some of the features bring with them significant dangers.  Keyless ignition switches are one of those features than can cause serious injury and death. Our South Florida car accident lawyers have seen many of these cases, and can manage your claim successfully.

Car with Keyless Ignition

How Are Keyless Ignition Cars Different?

A keyless ignition switch is usually found on a key fob that acts as a key chain for the car’s ignition key.  There are different types of keyless ignition switches.  Some are a simple button to be pressed, while others have a rocker-type switch that must be flipped to start the car.  Keyless ignition switches are popular in colder climates so that a person can turn on their car when its cold outside allowing the heater to begin warming up the car before the driver and passengers ever have to climb into the car.

The Dangers of Keyless Ignition Cars

The main problem associated with keyless ignition switches is they can remotely turn a vehicle’s engine on without the owner of a vehicle ever knowing.  Because your car keys bounce around in your purse or pocket, the buttons on the key fob, like the ignition switch, can be hit accidentally.  The danger arises because most people store their cars inside a closed garage.  When a vehicle’s engine runs, it creates carbon monoxide which is discharged through the car’s tailpipe.  If a keyless ignition switch accidentally turns on a car engine that is sitting inside a closed garage, the car can run for hours creating a deadly amount of carbon monoxide that can flood into a home.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is called the “silent killer” because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and non-irritating.  This means the gas can travel from inside a closed garage, through the doors and cracks of a house, exposing people living in the house to carbon monoxide’s deadly effects.  If carbon dioxide poisoning goes undetected, it can cause a person to lose consciousness, or become disoriented to the point of being unable to escape from the danger.  Symptoms associated with carbon dioxide poisoning are:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fainting and Coma

Additional problems with a keyless ignition switch are that some drivers will shut off their engine without putting the vehicle in “park”, leaving the vehicle prone to roll away.  The tragic part about keyless ignition switch carbon monoxide accidents is that they are preventable.

How Can Keyless Ignition Cars be Made More Safe?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recommended that keyless ignition switches include warning bells and safety precautions to minimize accidents related to the switches.  A car manufacturers failure to add some of these safety precautions into the keyless ignition switch can be considered as evidence in a serious injury or wrongful death claim.  Some of the simplest precautions which would save lives are:

  • An automatic shut-down of the vehicle after several minutes if the vehicle has not moved
  • An alarm which would be triggered after several minutes of a car being started by the keyless ignition switch
  • A covered keyless ignition switch that could not be triggered accidentally

Contact South Florida Car Accident Lawyers Today to Manage Your Keyless Ignition Accident

The Maus Law Firm has been involved in car accident litigation for close to 30 years.  The Firm’s lawyers strive to keep abreast of the latest safety technology and regulations that create the standards by which car manufacturers should operate.  If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of a keyless ignition switch or exposure to carbon dioxide, contact the Firm for a free consultation.