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Major Auto Manufacturers Sued Over Keyless Ignition System Defect

Class action lawsuit filed against most major auto manufacturers over injuries and deaths caused by keyless ignition system defect.

Keyless ignition systems, which allow drivers to start their car with the push of a button, are a common feature on newer cars sold in the United States. The car will start as long as an electronic key fob is within the vehicle.

The "defect" alleged in the lawsuit is that, once the car has been started, these systems allow to it continue running even after the fob itself is no longer in the car. The lawsuit cited cases in which drivers have inadvertently left their vehicles running inside enclosed garages causing a build-up of toxic odorless carbon monoxide gas that has seeped into homes, including at least one case involving a Toyota Prius hybrid. There have been 13 deaths in these sorts of incidents, according to the lawsuit, and many more injuries. This is especially likely in cars that have very quiet, smooth-running engines. For example, in gasoline-electric hybrid cars, the engine may not be running at all when the driver first gets out of the vehicle. The engine could come on later, though, after power in the vehicles' batteries runs low. General Motors recently recalled older models of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid to add software that would fix the keyless ignition system defect. Newer Volts have software that will shut the car off after a few minutes if the key fob leaves the vehicle. Many vehicles make a sound, such as a horn beep to alert drivers if they leave their vehicle while it's running. Many automakers have also added an "auto-off" feature to their newer cars and trucks, according to the lawsuilt but have not gone back to older vehicles already on the road and added the software. Among the automakers being sued are General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Honda and others. Ford Motor Co. said, in a statement, "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." Originally posted by Peter Valdes-Dapena on CNN Money. Keyless Ignition System Defect - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles

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