Keyless cars have become a convenience, but many drivers leave their cars in their garage and return later to find the car is still running. As technology tries to make things easier, there are sometimes added risks and dangers that come with the convenience. New revelations about the dangers of keyless ignitions and push-to-start cars could lead to a wave of lawsuits for injuries and death. If you or a member of your family was affected by carbon monoxide poisoning from a keyless car, talk to our attorneys today. The Reiff Law Firm’s Philadelphia keyless ignition carbon monoxide poisoning attorneys will explain the risks and symptoms of these keyless vehicle issues.
How Push-to-Start Cars Can Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Garage
When you park your car in your garage and take your key with you, you expect that your car will be off. However, drivers who recently switched to cars with keyless entry and older drivers accustomed to traditional keys for the better part of a century may be surprised to find that their car stayed on in their garage.
This was the case for a 75-year-old Florida man who was recently killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in his home. After parking his car in his attached garage, he walked into his house with his keys, leaving his car running without his knowledge. The car had no automatic shutoff and the warnings that the key had left the car failed to alert him to the fact that the car was still on. As the carbon monoxide built up in his garage and leaked into his house, the man eventually succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning and died in his sleep.
Approximately a dozen people have been killed across the country from this kind of auto defect, and another dozen suffered severe injuries. It is important always to remember to check that your vehicle is turned off when leaving it in a closed space and to provide plenty of ventilation if you are going to run your car in the garage. However, vehicle safety features should bear some responsibility in this issue.
It is obviously an issue that people may accidentally leave their cars running if they walk off with their key fob, and manufacturers should have procedures to prevent this kind of harm. Minor software and hardware changes would enable alarms and warnings if a car is left on or automatically shut off the car if the key fob leaves the vehicle. There were attempts to require these kinds of safety features, but regulatory efforts were never passed.
Some manufacturers’ cars shut off after 30 minutes of inactivity or have a similar failsafe. This could mean that cars without these safety features could be considered unsafe designs that might entitle a victim or their family to file a wrongful death lawsuit as part of a defective product injury claim.
Common Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Effects and Injuries
Carbon monoxide (CO) occurs naturally in our air and our bodies, but in very small quantities. In most cases, carbon monoxide is not dangerous, but once it reaches levels of around 35 parts per million, it can become harmful.
Carbon monoxide is a gas that consists of one carbon molecule and one oxygen molecule, making it seem similar to carbon dioxide, which has one carbon and two oxygen molecules. When you breathe in CO molecules, they can bond with the hemoglobin cells in your blood that transport oxygen, blocking them from picking up new oxygen molecules. If your blood is fully blocked-off with carbon monoxide, it makes it impossible for oxygen to circulate.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can affect your body in surprising ways. First, you could experience headaches and dizziness, as well as nausea and vomiting. You could also feel very tired and lethargic. If carbon monoxide continues to build up in your body, you could eventually pass out and face tissue damage from the lack of oxygen. Your brain’s lack of oxygen can cause severe brain damage.
Carbon monoxide can come from many sources. First, it is produced naturally in our atmosphere and our bodies. Small amounts of CO serve their purpose in our ecosystem and body systems, but concentrated amounts can be extremely dangerous. Fires, motors, and other sources of combustion often create CO. Because of this, you should never operate combustible devices like car engines or grills in enclosed spaces.
Many homes are equipped with carbon monoxide detectors to warn you of potential dangers and gas buildups. These monitors should be installed and tested, just like smoke detectors.
Auto Defect and Carbon Monoxide Injury Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured or passed away because of carbon monoxide poisoning from a keyless or remote-start vehicle, talk to an attorney today. The Reiff Law Firm’s Philadelphia personal injury lawyers have decades of experience representing victims of injury lawsuits and are not afraid to take your case against automotive manufacturers to get you the compensation you need. For a free consultation, call our law offices today at (215) 246-9000.