Labaton Sucharow Lawfirm out of New York and Hagens Bermen law firm out of California has filed a class-action lawsuit against 10 major auto manufacturers. The purpose of the lawsuit it to obtain a court order requiring Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Bentley, Volkswagen, BMW, Toyota and Ford to install an auto-shutdown feature on models that have a keyless ignition system. According to Martis Alex – the head attorney at Labaton Sucharow — cars that don’t have an automatic shutdown feature pose a risk of carbon-monoxide poisoning if a forgetful driver leaves the vehicle running in a garage.

The lawsuit goes on to state that automakers have known about this risk for years. It states that some have begun equipping new models with an automatic shutdown feature, but have done nothing to rectify the situation with older models. Apparently, according to some sources, there has been a total of 13 deaths related to carbon-monoxide poisoning from vehicles with keyless ignition systems. We’re not sure how this one is going to turn out, but keep reading to hear my thoughts on the issue.

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Why it matters

Well, what else can I say here other than: “Only in America, land of the hot coffee millionaires.” This is absolutely absurd. Maybe I’m being a little harsh here, but if you are smart enough to press a button to start a car, you should be smart enough to press the same button to turn it off. On top of that, every model I’ve driven with keyless entry has a chime that goes off when the driver door is open with the engine running – not to say all do, but either way it is common sense. Think about it this way: You are responsible for natural gas or electric charges if you neglect to turn off your oven after cooking a meatloaf right? We don’t blame the maker of the oven for that do we? It is common sense, people.

I don’t call this a deadly risk or defect at all. I’d call it a convenient Darwin Award application, at best. Carbon monoxide may be odorless, but car exhaust isn’t. Should you be dumb enough to leave your car running for an extended period of time, you should be able to smell the exhaust gas in the air before you’re exposed long enough for a deadly poisoning to take place. To me, this is just another way for some greedy lawyers to make more money off of ridiculous claims. Next thing you know someone will be suing automakers because they forgot to close that moonroof before it rained, or maybe next we can sue Samsung or Apple because our cell phone battery died while we were on a phone call. I’m interested in your opinion. What are your thoughts on this lawsuit?

Source: The Denver Channel

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert -
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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