How a keyless ignition could kill you



May 21, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Keyless ignition is one of those welcome advances in auto design that are easy to appreciate. No more fumbling for the key, no more dropping it in a gutter, no more trying to slip it into the ignition in the dark. Just open the door, get in, and punch the button. The fob never has to leave your purse or pocket.

But the convenience carries a danger that is easy to overlook. With quiet modern engines, it’s not hard to forget to shut the car off when you park it and walk away none the wiser. This is risky if the vehicle is on the street or in a parking lot. But it can be deadly in a garage.

Since 2006, an investigation by The New York Times found, 28 people have died of carbon monoxide poisoning after a keyless-ignition vehicle was mistakenly left idling in a garage attached to a house. Another 45 have been injured, some of them with brain damage. The odorless, invisible gas fills the home and the occupants are overcome, often as they sleep.

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