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Keyless Technology Could Increase Risk for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Many headlines spotlight keyless technology’s link to increased auto thefts. However, carbon monoxide poisoning is a potential hazard associated with this technology that’s even more important to be aware of.

The connection between this convenient technology and carbon monoxide poisoning is simple enough. While using a keyless fob to turn on your vehicle doesn’t pose a threat, turning it off is where the risk comes into play. With a conventional car, you have to turn and remove the key to signal the engine to shut down. With a keyless car, however, the engine turns off only when the driver hits the off button on the fob—a simple step that some people forget to perform.

Surprisingly enough, no federal agency keeps comprehensive records of carbon monoxide related deaths. However, according to David Jeans and Majlie De Puy Kamp, contributors with The New York Times, there have been a total of 45 injuries and 28 deaths reported since 2006.

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Considering that more than half of the 17 million new vehicles sold each year in the U.S. incorporate keyless technology, as stated in The New York Times, it’s important that the industry starts implementing regulations and safety measures to protect consumers. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed a federal regulation that would require automakers to modify vehicle software, strong opposition from the auto industry struck down this potential legislation.

Some automakers have started to implement safety alerts with their keyless technology systems, such as triggering an audible signal when the technology detects that the motor is still running when the driver starts exiting the vehicle. However many manufacturers have yet to adopt such safety precautions.

In the meantime, one basic safety measure you can take is to install a carbon monoxide detector in your garage. This simple device will help protect you and your family from the dangers of this potential scenario, while we wait for more manufacturers to start making keyless technology safer.

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News Sources: FortuneThe New York Times