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Keyless Ignition Systems Can Pose Dangers for Drivers

keyless ignition system, car accidentWhile keyless car ignitions create convenience for drivers, they pose safety hazards that put drivers at risk for injuries. Many Illinois injured drivers file personal injury claims with a McHenry attorney for car accident for damages.

Dangers of Keyless Ignition Systems

One of the most significant dangers of keyless ignition systems is their ability to start the car within short range, even though they’re not initiated by a driver or any other person. Since 2009, numerous vehicles parked in drivers’ garages have started up without their knowledge. These incidents have accounted for at least 19 fatalities and hundreds of injuries including carbon monoxide poisoning. Vehicle owners were unaware that their vehicle had been started, or believed that their vehicle had been shut off when they removed their keys from the ignition.

According to studies and consumer complaints, Toyota’s Smart Key violates federal motor vehicle safety design regulations. Toyota’s Smart Key is intended to help prevent theft and movement of unoccupied vehicles. However, studies show that it can continue to operate the vehicle if the vehicle is left in “drive” rather than “park.” If a driver exits a vehicle and doesn’t put it in park, the vehicle can continue to move forward, putting anyone in its path in danger of injury or death.

Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not issued any recalls, they are investigating. There are major concerns that most keyless ignition systems allow a vehicle to operate until it runs out of gas. In addition, most systems are started by simple, easy-to-operate push-button designs that can easily be pushed accidentally.

Accident and Injury Claims

As a result of numerous accidents and injuries, vehicle owners across the country have filed lawsuits against some of the largest automakers including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, and others. The lawsuits claim that automakers knew about and concealed the safety hazards and risks of injuries from keyless ignition systems. They also claim that automakers failed to install inexpensive, automatic shut-off features that would turn off car engines after a specified idling time. In Illinois, a McHenry attorney for car accident often sees injuries caused by defective products and auto parts that pose safety hazards for drivers.

Currently, the NHTSA is receiving a growing number of complaints regarding the safety of keyless ignition systems. Consumers are requesting that the NHTSA force industry-wide safety features for keyless ignition systems to prevent further injuries and fatalities.

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