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Thu Jun 16, 2022, 08:29 AM Jun 2022

Car and Driver: The danger of keyless ignitions [View all]


Here's What the New York Times Didn't Say about the Danger of Keyless-Ignition Systems

The technology is convenient (if sometimes annoying), but it means drivers need to be more attentive to whether their engines are running.

A New York Times report tells the story of a couple who died of carbon-monoxide poisoning after their 2017 Toyota Avalon, equipped with a push-button keyless ignition, was mistakenly left running inside their garage.
The story outlines the problem of modern keyless-ignition systems that make it more difficult to be certain whether a car's engine is running.

NHTSA and SAE International have both recommended that warning systems be added to push-button ignition systems, but more driver attentiveness is a powerful remedy, too.

Are all the electronics in your car a good thing? When it comes to safety features such as anti-lock brakes and stability-control systems, the answer is yes. Convenience features like touchscreens, however, can add distraction and, at worst, can be dangerous. It's difficult to know where to draw the line, but the New York Times suggests in a recent story that keyless-ignition systems pose an overlooked risk because sometimes, the driver fails to switch the car off or doesn't realize it's still running. It's a follow-up to a larger investigation citing the dangers that can happen when you don't have to physically turn off a key to be sure your car is shut down.
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A couple that lived near me were found dead in doc03 Jun 2022 #1
A friend of mine CrackityJones75 Jun 2022 #3
Neighbors down the street from my in-laws accidentally left their keyless car on. Tommy Carcetti Jun 2022 #14
Horrible. I thought that only happened moonscape Jun 2022 #29
Only On The Surface ProfessorGAC Jun 2022 #102
I am all for the warning systems but CrackityJones75 Jun 2022 #2
Mine does if I leave it running and take the keys out. róisín_dubh Jun 2022 #8
Yep. CrackityJones75 Jun 2022 #11
I guess new cars can be started with the remote from inside the house. Nice if it's snowing out ratchiweenie Jun 2022 #39
Also nice when it's 105 ReluctanceTango Jun 2022 #92
That's a very good point. MineralMan Jun 2022 #4
I disable the autostop every time I get in as well. Tommy Carcetti Jun 2022 #7
I know why they added it. MineralMan Jun 2022 #15
My wife's car has lane monitoring and side traffic alerts. Tommy Carcetti Jun 2022 #19
I rented a car once that had the side traffic alert. MineralMan Jun 2022 #23
In my wife's car the side traffic alert only beeps if the turn signal is on. Tommy Carcetti Jun 2022 #25
That makes sense, except that more and more people MineralMan Jun 2022 #27
"I also always leave a gap between my vehicle and the one ahead of me..." Jedi Guy Jun 2022 #107
Learned that from my Dad in 1962. MineralMan Jun 2022 #108
Sounds like your dad did right by you. Jedi Guy Jun 2022 #117
He did, and I will. MineralMan Jun 2022 #118
I have a Subie too. I have never had the brakes engage like that. My hubby has and helpisontheway Jun 2022 #111
I thought delays was waiting on red light runners Captain Zero Jun 2022 #58
Probably some of all of the above. ShazzieB Jun 2022 #106
Both, most likely. MineralMan Jun 2022 #109
We disable that too. I don't like it either. n/t pnwmom Jun 2022 #62
It is easy to do Jerry2144 Jun 2022 #5
My wife's car which I drive regularly is keyless, and after several years I still hate it. Tommy Carcetti Jun 2022 #6
Disagree. Happy Hoosier Jun 2022 #10
I don't like the idea of just having a fob in my pocket all the time. Tommy Carcetti Jun 2022 #13
Fair enough, we all have preferences... Happy Hoosier Jun 2022 #18
The problem is that those of us who don't prefer it often don't have a choice pnwmom Jun 2022 #63
Like manual transmissions.... the market speaks. Happy Hoosier Jun 2022 #81
Thing is, I really don't recall people clamoring for keyless ignition. Tommy Carcetti Jun 2022 #86
I love it, and it was definitely on my "shopping list" Happy Hoosier Jun 2022 #89
Also, if you leave the FOB in your pocket robbob Jun 2022 #16
Mine does not. Happy Hoosier Jun 2022 #20
Yes inthewind21 Jun 2022 #24
Reread your post so I know how you lock and unlock your car. Dysfunctional Jun 2022 #32
My car I just need to put my hand on the door handle AZSkiffyGeek Jun 2022 #35
Thank you Dysfunctional Jun 2022 #37
You unlock the door by pulling the handle with your key fob on your person, and lock it by touching fishwax Jun 2022 #42
Thank you. Dysfunctional Jun 2022 #105
The fob has a short field RFID chip. Happy Hoosier Jun 2022 #82
Keyless ignition is brilliant for me because I moonscape Jun 2022 #31
I just think if you don't even take out your fob... Tommy Carcetti Jun 2022 #51
My fob is on the same keyring as my house and office keys fishwax Jun 2022 #53
It lets the car know you're there. Happy Hoosier Jun 2022 #83
My car beeps at you like crazy if it is unoccupied and running. Happy Hoosier Jun 2022 #9
yeah this is kind of my point CrackityJones75 Jun 2022 #12
If you close the door and leave it running, my Honda does really fast beeps. sarcasmo Jun 2022 #33
If it "could" be solved, it should have been solved before they killed any people with these systems pnwmom Jun 2022 #64
With all due respect.... Happy Hoosier Jun 2022 #75
Any automotive engineer should have realized that a car that could run silently pnwmom Jun 2022 #76
An IC engine isn't silent. Happy Hoosier Jun 2022 #77
My husband is a PhD Engineer and he has always been concerned about the CO issue. pnwmom Jun 2022 #78
This danger is more to do with enclosed garages than keyless ignitions. dawg Jun 2022 #17
Not really. It's the combination. People don't unknowingly leave running cars with keys pnwmom Jun 2022 #65
No, but people with keyed ignitions do die this way. dawg Jun 2022 #68
Yes -- on purpose, usually. Not accidentally. nt pnwmom Jun 2022 #69
In order for inthewind21 Jun 2022 #21
Driving a keyless hybrid for 10 yrs RainCaster Jun 2022 #22
You have to be extremely distracted ecstatic Jun 2022 #26
I love the feature, and many others new cars have Johnny2X2X Jun 2022 #28
A basic battery operated carbon monoxide detector is very inexpensive. nt. Mariana Jun 2022 #30
This. So inexpensive they could be built into cars... CaptainTruth Jun 2022 #45
People should have one in the house anyway Mariana Jun 2022 #71
And it makes auto theft far easier too. Pobeka Jun 2022 #34
I'll take the old way, too. calimary Jun 2022 #50
Most cars can turn off keyless entry if.... Happy Hoosier Jun 2022 #84
How about a better reason is to add a Carbon monoxide detector in your house USALiberal Jun 2022 #36
The story at the link doesn't even mention that idea. nt. Mariana Jun 2022 #38
This message was self-deleted by its author Mosby Jun 2022 #112
Whoops! Thanks! Fixed!!! USALiberal Jun 2022 #113
My car beeps if I leave the engine on and open the door to get out. The only way I could jalan48 Jun 2022 #40
When your fob battery goes dead in the middle of nowhere mainer Jun 2022 #41
my fob has a key insert to get in the door fishwax Jun 2022 #52
Didn't work for my daughter in law mainer Jun 2022 #85
Yeah, that's a rough situation to be in for sure fishwax Jun 2022 #94
I love my keyless ignition, especially when you have a couple bags of groceries Meadowoak Jun 2022 #43
A lot of folks don't realize CO goes through walls IronLionZion Jun 2022 #44
Add CO detectors to cars. If the engine is running & CO level gets too high... CaptainTruth Jun 2022 #46
What my 2021 Chevy does... Historic NY Jun 2022 #47
They auto shutoff now in Toyotas. herding cats Jun 2022 #48
There should be little CO Edited to remove the CO2 refence Old Crank Jun 2022 #49
CO is very different from CO2. Reread the OP again, because not knowing can be deadly. . . nt Bernardo de La Paz Jun 2022 #59
Thanks for catching that. Old Crank Jun 2022 #93
They can put a switch in the passenger seat to turn off the airbags. sybylla Jun 2022 #54
My Prius is so quiet sometimes I Tree Lady Jun 2022 #55
Yes, very frightening. LymphocyteLover Jun 2022 #56
Keyless ignitions + hands free driving, no problem... nt Hotler Jun 2022 #57
I love my keyless truck Traildogbob Jun 2022 #60
I've also heard ... Xoan Jun 2022 #61
That would be much harder to do, for most people. nt pnwmom Jun 2022 #66
We traded in our two older cars on one new model Torchlight Jun 2022 #67
We had a Super Beetle, too -- a 71, I think. I learned to drive on it! pnwmom Jun 2022 #70
Now I'm kinda jealous. :) Torchlight Jun 2022 #80
No, I fouhd it much easier to drive stick on the Super Beetle pnwmom Jun 2022 #88
This article is three years old, and most manufacturers now have automatic shutoffs fishwax Jun 2022 #72
Did they recall all the vehicles that don't? More people drive used cars than new. n/t pnwmom Jun 2022 #73
I doubt a recall is the best tool for addressing this problem fishwax Jun 2022 #74
Why not? nt pnwmom Jun 2022 #79
I think it would have quickly diminishing returns beyond raising awareness fishwax Jun 2022 #97
I knew a family of 5 that were all poisoned by carbon monoxide in a different kind of accident, pnwmom Jun 2022 #98
that is horrible, to be sure fishwax Jun 2022 #99
You said: "We're not talking about a catastrophic failure that would affect you or other drivers on pnwmom Jun 2022 #100
exactly. And what about that sentence implies any lack of concern about the situation you describe? fishwax Jun 2022 #101
As I said, this failure in a garage could hurt multiple people, pnwmom Jun 2022 #103
I feel like you are mischaracterizing or misrepresenting my argument fishwax Jun 2022 #104
Oh for god's sake Brenda Jun 2022 #87
I disagree. The manufacturers should have spent $5 more per car to eliminate the problem. pnwmom Jun 2022 #90
Okay, that's a good cheap fix Brenda Jun 2022 #91
These cars are very quiet. But the manufacturers were resisting the tiny cost pnwmom Jun 2022 #95
Can't read, paywall Brenda Jun 2022 #96
My husband's hybrid is so quiet. You literally can't tell it is on. This is something to think about helpisontheway Jun 2022 #110
Put a CO detector in your house, if you don't already have one. Mariana Jun 2022 #114
Sounds like ForgedCrank Jun 2022 #115
I left a keyless car running once musette_sf Jun 2022 #116
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