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Keyless ignitions put Pennsylvania drivers in peril

When one pictures injury from a vehicle, the image conjured likely involves damaged vehicles. But not all automotive peril in Pennsylvania derives from car accidents. Some of the danger is far more insidious, involving no damage to the vehicle and victims who are not even in the car: carbon monoxide poisoning. And a key culprit in dozens of carbon monoxide poisoning cases around the country is the keyless ignition.

According to the New York Times, automakers have known of the risks posed by keyless ignitions since a Florida woman died in her home in 2006. The problem arises when a car owner parks his or her vehicle in an attached garage, exits the passenger compartment and takes the the key fob, believing the car engine is off. However, in many such cases the motor – which is often too quiet to be heard idling – continues running, filling the garage and attached dwelling with carbon monoxide.

Manufacturers are required to install audible warnings, but this minimal requirement does not seem sufficient to prevent the serious illnesses, including brain damage, and deaths that have occurred. Some automakers, like Ford, have taken additional steps. In Ford’s newer keyless vehicles, the company has installed a device that will turn off a car if the doors are closed, the fob is not in the passenger compartment and the engine has been running for 30 minutes. Other automakers have taken no such precautions.

If someone – or one of their loved ones – has been a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a keyless-ignition equipped vehicle, they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering, loss of wages and medical bills. These types of cases require the skills and diligence that only an experienced personal injury attorney can offer. With the assistance of a seasoned lawyer, those who suffered from keyless vehicle-caused carbon monoxide poisoning can get the compensation to which they are entitled.