Ten Automakers Face Lawsuit Related To Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Ten Automakers Face Lawsuit Related To Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Engine Start Button Tuner tom / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
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Ten major automakers have been sued Wednesday with U.S. consumers claiming the companies have knowingly concealed carbon monoxide poisoning risks that can occur in vehicles with keyless ignitions. So far, there are 13 deaths related to this claim. Currently, there are over 5 million vehicles that use keyless ignitions.

The automakers named as defendants in the lawsuit include BMW, including Mini; Fiat Chrysler; Daimler‘s Mercedes Benz; Honda, including Acura; Toyota, including Lexus; Volkswagen, including Bentley; Hyundai, including Kia; Ford Motor Co; General Motors Co; and Nissan, including Infiniti.


Reuters reports that the complaint stated that car owners or drivers are mistakenly led to believe that the vehicle’s engine would shut off after they have taken their electronic key fobs while the vehicle is running. This practice actually leads to the emission of carbon dioxide in the vehicle.

Carbon dioxide is a colorless and odorless gas. People can readily inhale it the moment they enter their vehicles or even make their way to their car garage. This, in turn, can lead to serious injuries, or worse, death.

Related: Nissan Vehicles Undergo Recall Due To Door Latch Problem

There are 28 named plaintiffs in the said lawsuit. They alleged that the 13 deaths resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning as related in the vehicles’ keyless ignition could have been prevented. One complaint even stated, “The automakers had actual knowledge of the dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning consequences of vehicles with keyless fobs that lack an automatic shut-off.”

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The lawsuit does not just stop with pointing out that the accused automakers had knowledge of potential carbon monoxide poisoning. At the same time, the plaintiffs also claim that the accused automakers could have easily installed an inexpensive feature that would allow unattended engines to automatically get turned off.

The lawsuit is seeking class-action status along with compensatory and punitive damages. Moreover, it is also seeking for an injunction that would require automakers to install an automatic shut-off feature on all its existing vehicles as well as future ones.