Can Push Button Start Ignitions Cause Accidents?

In recent years, virtually all car manufacturers have started using keyless features. However, this mechanism can bring several risks and dangers. An error in the ignition system can lead to a devastating accident if your car turns off while driving. Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked discusses how keyless ignitions work and the risks associated with them.

How Do Push-to-Start Ignitions Work?

Keyless ignition systems depend on a specially designed frequency operated button (FOB). FOBs act as the digital counterpart of the traditional metal key. The FOB has a code embedded in it that communicates with the vehicle’s ignition system, enabling the user to start and stop the engine by pressing a start/stop button.

Since their introduction to the market in the late 90’s, keyless ignitions have become increasingly popular among both luxury and mainstream automakers. Each brand has created their particular take on this type of ignition system. Some of the technology implemented by car companies include the following names:

  • Audi – “Advanced Key”
  • BMW – “Comfort Access”
  • Ford – “Intelligent Access”
  • GM – “Passive Entry Start”
  • Hyundai – “Proximity Key”

Are Push Button Start Cars Dangerous?

While keyless ignition systems are a nice quality-of-life addition to vehicles, they are not devoid of risks and dangers. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received multiple complaints about the dangers associated with push-to-start car systems. Most complaints involving keyless cars can involve the following significant concerns:

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

One of the considerable problems with keyless ignitions is they don’t all have auto-off mechanisms. Therefore, if you step out of your vehicle without pressing the start/stop button, your car may not turn off on its own. The lack of a failsafe function in keyless ignition cars can lead to severe, life-threatening carbon monoxide poisoning accidents.

This odorless, colorless gas can deprive your brain, lungs and other vital organs of much-needed oxygen. If inhaled, carbon monoxide can leave a person unconscious or cause wrongful death. Carbon monoxide poisoning from keyless cars can happen when the driver inadvertently leaves the vehicle running. To date, there are no official statistics from the federal government regarding carbon monoxide poisoning caused by keyless cars. However, several media outlets have reported dozens of deaths related to carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by keyless vehicles since the mid-2000’s in the U.S.

Accidental Roll Away

The Federal Manufacturer Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) has clear rules when it comes to automotive safety. Regarding operating a vehicle, the FMVSS has established that car keys cannot be removed from the ignition slot until your car is in park and turned off. This has been the primary on/off mechanism in most vehicles for decades. Surprisingly, this mechanism is yet to be implemented on keyless cars. This means that keys can leave the car while the car remains on and in drive or neutral, which can lead to an accidental roll away capable of inflicting severe injuries or death.

Big Car Companies Making Keyless Car Recalls

Imagine you are enjoying a nice evening drive when all of a sudden your vehicle shuts down, causing you to lose control of your vehicle and cause a massive accident. This is what happened to more than 50 car accident victims during 2014 across the country. General Motors had to recall more than 2.5 million vehicles due to faulty ignition switches in their cars. This fault in the ignition system would cause the car to shut down while driving. Unfortunately, more than ten people died due to this faulty mechanism ultimately leading to multiple product liability lawsuits.

Additionally, in 2008, Dodge recalled more than 6,000 Challengers due to noncompliance with FMVSS requirements. Drivers could turn off their vehicle by pressing the stop button on their FOB while the car was not parked, potentially allowing them to shut their car off while driving. As it was implemented, this function posed a great danger to the driver. Therefore, Dodge was forced to recall their vehicles and update them according to FMVSS regulation. This year, Nissan has announced they’re also recalling more than 150,000 units after the NHTSA said that a spring located in the ignition could fail after six years.

Miami Personal Injury Attorney Handling Keyless Car Accident Claims in Florida

Dealing with the pain and suffering caused by a devastating injury can be overwhelming. During such a difficult situation, you may wonder how you will be able to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. The situation can be worse if you are your family’s only provider. However, you don’t have to go through this situation alone. Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked may be able to help. The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked will fight aggressively to obtain the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. If you or a loved one was injured due to a faulty keyless car, call The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 690-0244.

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