The American Association for Justice has urged federal regulators to adopt a rule requiring keyless ignition engines in automobiles to shut off after 30 minutes of idling. In comments to NHTSA submitted on March 12th, AAJ said the proposed rule regarding theft protection and rollaway protection, which would only require that an audible alert sound after the engine idles for a certain period of time, is not enough to protect against risks such as carbon monoxide poisoning. AAJ President Gary M. Paul, in the comments submitted to NHTSA, said:
The dangers surrounding unknowingly failing to turn off the car engine, combined with the lack of sensory prompts, such as engine noise, in newer vehicles have been proven to be a fatal combination.
According to AAJ, several deaths have been linked to idling keyless ignitions. Most of these deaths involved drivers who left their car engines running in attached garages for lengthy periods of time, causing carbon monoxide poisoning. Keyless ignitions pose an increased danger of carbon monoxide poisoning because they take away the deeply ingrained habit to turn a key in order to shut down the car engine. Additionally, newer cars are quieter which can exacerbate the problems associated with leaving an unattended car running. All of this was in the letter sent to NHTSA.
Source: AAJ News Release
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