Do you have a push button ignition car? Too many people are leaving them running in their garages and the consequence is deadly.

June 12, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

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Push button ignition cars are becoming more and more common, and for many people they are incredibly convenient. They do come with an unanticipated risk, and experts are warning us about the problem and pushing for a solution.

Many people have been leaving their push button cars running by accident once they pull into their garage. The result for many has been deadly. Carbon monoxide fills the garage and begins to seep into the home. The New York Times has done a special investigation into the problem of people forgetting to turn their cars off and who have died as a result. Without the habit of having to take a key out of the car and forcing the engine to stop it is likely your key never left your pocket and therefore you can easily enter the house without the key.

Many people who rely on electric heat don’t have a CO detector, and even those with natural gas or other CO generating sources (gas ovens, wood fire stoves etc.) don’t have a CO detector in the home.  There is no reason that the cars cannot have a safety feature that turns them off after a certain time period or having a sensor that cuts the engine when the ambient CO level reaches dangerous levels. Cars are now considered smart technology, it is time to programme them to be safe and smart in this regard as well.

The NY Times has reported that since 2006 28 people have died, and 45 others injured from the poisoning. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a regulation which was never enacted due to industry opposition. In Canada we have no keyless ignition standards in the industry or any regulations in law that protect users of these vehicles from CO poisoning.

If you own a keyless ignition car make sure you have working CO detectors in your home, and consider placing one in the garage. Also establish a routine for turning your car off before exiting the vehicle every time you use the car. Routines are very helpful. Many experts advise against parking vehicles in garages attached to homes due to the risk of car fires/explosions that can spread to the home.



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