A Reuters story today by Jonathon Stempel says that ten of the world's biggest carmakers were sued on Wednesday in the US Federal Court by a lawsuit from 28 plaintiffs, which claims the carmakers concealed the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning in more than 5 million vehicles, equipped with keyless ignitions, resulting in 13 deaths.
According to the lawsuit, the problem arises when car owners drive into their garages, and then enter the house, leaving the engine running, which is emitting the colorless, ordorless, gas into the garage, until the engine shuts off.
Before you say: "What??" That's a frivolous lawsuit, don't ya love the land of litigation? Let me explain:
Wherever you live in the USA, North, South or in the Middle, when you drive into your garage you want to get away from the weather, and shut the door.
You're either escaping the freezing cold, the high heat or humidity that could axphixiate you. Now, check my simple diagram.
With a keyless ignition system, which works on the proximity of the key to the vehicle (like Bluetooth), if (after you've entered the house) you do not move far enough away from the vehicle, or until the timer automatically shuts the engine down - the car will keep running, emitting noxious gases into the garage.
There is the possibility that you could re-enter the garage, breathe in the deadly gas and die. According to the lawsuit, 13 people have died this way, because of this keyless technology.
Okay. Here's where technology can make us lazy. If you do exactly what I've outlined here, there certainly IS the possibility of death arising from a continually-running engine.
However, the possibility can be COMPLETELY AVOIDED if owners of cars with this feature simply press the ENGINE STOP button before they get out of the car, rather than trust the car to turn off quickly, automatically. It's as simple as that.
I think that instead of litigating, and trying to shift blame to carmakers for inventing this feature, maybe they should have all thrown money into a national public awareness campaign to tell people to shut off the engine themselves, immediately after they enter an enclosed space!
See, problem solved. And all without a costly lawsuit.