A lawsuit seeking an injunction requiring automakers to install automatic shut-off features on all existing and future vehicles sold with keyless ignitions was filed in Los Angeles on August 26, 2015 against ten of the world’s biggest automakers.
Toyota, Nissan, Honda, GM, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford are some of the automakers facing a class action lawsuit on behalf of millions of Americans who drive cars with keyless ignitions.
The automakers sold keyless “fobs” without instituting safeguards, warnings, or other safety features including audible engine-on alerts or “auto off,” which would automatically turn off the engine of a car left unattended. There have been at least 13 deaths and numerous injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning after drivers failed to manually shut off their engines.
Such a device can be implemented without significant cost, but automakers refused to make the repair, recall the cars or provide an auto-off software update. GM and Ford even took steps to patent a shut-off feature.
27 complaints have been logged with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 2009 concerning keyless ignitions.
The lawsuit seeks to hold the automobile industry liable for defects that make driving unsafe, similar to the Takata airbags cases and ignition switch lawsuit against GM motors.
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