10 Automakers Sued Over ‘Deadly’ Ignition Flaw

Ten automakers are being sued over keyless ignition systems that allegedly raise the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Find out which manufacturers are involved.

Ten automakers are being sued over keyless ignition systems that allegedly raise the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The federal lawsuit filed by U.S. consumers blames the keyless ignitions for 13 deaths, Reuters reports. It was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

The lawsuit blames the foreign and domestic car manufacturers for allegedly concealing a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning associated with the ignitions, including when vehicles are left in garages attached to homes, Reuters reports:

According to the complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles, carbon monoxide is emitted when drivers leave their vehicles running after taking their electronic key fobs with them, under the mistaken belief that the engines will shut off.

Once a vehicle with keyless ignition senses that an electronic fob is nearby, it can be started with the push of an on/off button rather than the turn of a key.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas “that kills without warning,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan law professor, tells Bloomberg Business that the lawsuit might prod federal regulators to intervene and push for a recall, but it’s unlikely to get as much momentum as lawsuits over ignition switch flaws or exploding air bags:

“The defect is a problem only if a driver doesn’t realize the car is still running. Most drivers know whether their car is running.”

The lawsuit defendants include:

  • BMW, including Mini
  • Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz
  • Fiat Chrysler
  • Ford Motor Co.
  • General Motors Co.
  • Honda, including Acura
  • Hyundai, including Kia
  • Nissan, including Infiniti
  • Toyota, including Lexus
  • Volkswagen, including Bentley

Bloomberg reports that Ford has issued a statement:

“Ford takes the safety of our customers very seriously; the keyless ignition system has proven to be a safe and reliable innovative feature that has been well-received by customers. Ford vehicles equipped with keyless ignition alert drivers when the driver’s door is open and the vehicle’s engine is running.”

Many of the automakers declined to comment to Bloomberg or Reuters. Others could not immediately be reached for comment.

Have you had any experiences with keyless ignitions? Share your story inour Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

Read Next: Vroom! 7 Ways to Boost Your Old Car’s Trade-in Value

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,458 more deals!