Ten of the biggest automakers out there were sued on Wednesday by U.S. consumers who claim that the carmakers hid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in more than 5 millions which have keyless ignitions, leading to 13 deaths.
The complaint was filed in federal court in Los Angeles and stated that carbon monoxide was emitted when drivers left their cars running after taking their electronic key fobs with them, having the impression that engines would shut off after that. There were 28 plaintiffs who said that this can lead to injuries and moreover to deaths for those who inhales the odorless gas, including when cars are parked in garages close to people’s homes. The drivers also said that this defect leads to a decrease in their cars’ values if they choose to resell them.
What a keyless ignition does is that it allows a driver to start their vehicle with the help of an on and off button instead of using the mainstream key, once the car detects the presence of a close electronic fob.
On the list of carmakers sued there are BMW and Mini included, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, Fiat Chrysler, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Honda with its Acura. The list did not stop here as Hyundai also made it there, with Kia, Nissan together with Infiniti, Toyota and its Lexus, Volkswagen and Bentley included.
This lawsuit is the latest in a series of recalls that involved Takata’s defective airbags which lead to injured people and deaths, and also GM’s faulty switches. It is claiming that the 10 automakers sued have known for a long time about the risks of keyless ignition, which have been available since 2003, yet chose to market their produced cars as being safe for their customers.
By Gabriela Florea