Ten automakers in the U.S. are being sued for allegedly concealing the possible risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in some vehicles with keyless ignitions.
A class action lawsuit has been filed against some of the world’s largest automakers claiming that they concealed the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning in more than five-million vehicles equipped with keyless ignitions. According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, some vehicle owners were under the mistaken belief that the engines will automatically shut off. As a result, some drivers left their vehicles running, resulting in toxic gas being emitted sometimes in garages attached to homes.
Automakers being named in the lawsuit include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen. Brands owned by those automakers are also being named as defendants, including MINI, Acura, Kia, Infiniti, Lexus and Bentley.
Drivers are claiming that the automakers have known for years about the risks of keyless ignitions, yet continued to market their vehicles as safe.
The biggest focus on the lawsuit is that plaintiffs say the automakers could have avoided 13 deaths by installing an inexpensive feature that would automatically shut off unattended engines, noting that even American automakers GM and Ford patented a shut-off feature. In addition, 27 complaints have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) since 2009 over keyless ignitions.
[Source: Automotive News]