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Hidden Danger in Your Garage

keyless-ignitionIn today’s hurried lifestyle, people turn to convenience with increasing frequency. One such high-tech helper is the keyless ignition option on many new vehicles. Instead of fumbling to get the car key out of your pocket or purse, you simply need to get it into the car and then press a button to start the engine. For the few seconds this could shave off your morning routine, it could leave a hidden danger lurking in your garage.

It seems simple. You hop in the car, press a button, and zoom off to work, shopping, or a social engagement. Afterward, you drive back home and pull into the garage. Instead of the old-fashioned way of turning off your car with the key, you just have to jump out and remove the special key fob from the car to turn off the engine.

This is where the convenience breaks down and the danger erupts. In too many cases, the car does not turn off after removing the key fob from the car. Tired from the day’s work, distracted by your packages, or simply not noticing due to the quiet nature of today’s engines, you head inside, kick off your shoes, and relax.

The car’s engine continues to run, pumping toxic carbon monoxide into the garage.

A class action lawsuit is currently underway regarding this fatal flaw in the design. Many people have become ill or injured due to carbon monoxide poisoning, and 13 people have died. The carbon monoxide has no odor, is invisible, and readily spreads throughout the garage and then seeps into your home.

Any car with a keyless ignition system could be affected by this issue. However, hybrid cars that alternate between battery and engine use may have a higher chance of a problem. Not only are their engines much quieter and therefore more difficult to discern whether they are on or not, but the engine could actually be off when you park in the garage and get out. As the battery begins to run out of juice, the engine could automatically start and begin this deadly process.

How can you prevent a horrible tragedy from this hidden danger in your garage?

Speaking with a car dealership or mechanic to make sure the system functions properly is a good first step. Also, find out if your car’s make and model is included in the class action lawsuit.

Nothing provides a greater defense against carbon monoxide buildup and potential illness or death than your close attention and care. Always be sure the engine is completely off and the battery is not engaged when you step out of your vehicle. A moment of effort can prevent a lifetime of grief.