In Brief

Keyless cars causing dozens of deaths

Victims poisoned by carbon monoxide after vehicles accidentally left running in garages

Dozens of people have been killed or injured by carbon monoxide poising caused by cars with keyless start systems, an investigation has found.

According to the report, by The New York Times, drivers are failing to turn off keyless cars after parking in their garages, which can result in poisonous carbon monoxide gasses emitted from the vehicle’s exhaust seeping into their homes.  

Since 2006, at least 28 drivers have died, and a further 45 sustained injuries, as a result of leaving their engine running, according to the report. 

Some victims have been left with life-changing injuries, including brain damage, says the Daily Express

Keyless entry and ignition systems are “becoming a staple on modern cars”, thanks to their convenience over conventional keys, the newspaper reports. 

The system is controlled through a small electronic device carried by the driver that allows them to start their car by pressing a dashboard button linked to the fob.

More than half of the 17 million cars sold in the US each year are now fitted with a keyless ignition system.

However, the BBC reports that some manufacturers are putting warnings on their vehicles in a bid to ensure drivers turn off their car engine at the end of each journey.

Ford introduced a feature in 2013 that automatically switches off it cars if they are left idling for more than 30 minutes after the keyless fob has been taken out of the vehicle.

Automatic cut-off safety systems can be retrofitted by the manufacturer, but the Daily Mail says that only a small number of carmakers offer this as a service.

General Motors began retroactively fitting a cut-off feature for its keyless cars following a product recall in 2015.

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