Keyless entry systems are supposed to make your car easier to drive. As long as you have the key fob with you, you don’t fumble with your keys. Touch the handle of your car door and it unlocks so you can step inside your vehicle. Push the Start/Stop button to start the car and then lock the doors, so you can be on your way. At the end of your trip, park the car and the doors unlock again so you can leave your vehicle. Once your key fob is out of range, the doors lock and your engine turns off.
At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. CNN reports that in some cases, the car doesn’t switch off. Instead, because the engine continues to run inside an enclosed garage, odorless carbon monoxide gas builds up and seeps into homes, poisoning the air for the occupants. A just-filed class action lawsuit alleges at least 13 deaths have been attributed to this technological defect.
In some cases involving gas-electric hybrids, the engine may be off when the driver leaves the vehicle. But as the power in the car runs low, the engine comes on again. In fact, GM issued a recall for some older Chevrolet Volt plug-in models to fix this issue. Parties to the lawsuit include Toyota, Honda, Fiat Chrysler, and General Motors.
The details of this problem have yet to wend their way through the courts. In the meantime, be sure to consciously switch off your engine after every trip. Press the Start/Stop button after every drive so the indicator light is turned off. Don’t rely on the engine to come off automatically.