Attorney Gordon Johnson


Recent litigation has brought to light the claims that the mod technology of having keyless ignitions in automobiles are accounting for hundreds of deaths and thousands of carbon monoxide poisonings. After reading of yesterday’s Wintersville OH CO poisoning (CO stands for carbon monoxide) we are waiting to hear the results of the investigation as to what happened. Early speculation was that the mother had started the car but forgotten to leave the garage door open.

We wonder if the events are similar to what is claimed in the class action case. In the lawsuit, many people complained of leaving their cars running without any indication that they were still running, and became very concerned about the defect. If left running in a closed garage, there is the risk of CO poisoning, like we see in the Wintersville OH CO poisoning.

Many of the models have a quiet engine, especially in the Hybrids, so the automobile owner doesn’t know engine is still running.

Sales and marketing materials have no warning. All of the plaintiffs had said they wouldn’t have purchased or leased the car or would’ve paid less for it if they knew about the problem.

In addition, auto-shutoff is feasible with a simple recall campaign and has been implemented already. The 2014-2015 Chevrolet Volts has an auto-off feature. They recalled the 2011-2013 Chevrolet Volts. Ford has installed auto-off feature on newer models, but has not recalled the cars.

Furthermore, there has been an increase in vehicles with a keyless start. According to the lawsuit, at least 13 people have died and many more have been injured requiring hospitalization.

GM and Ford have patented or sought to patent the very auto off feature that would prevent the defect.

The cost is less than $5 a vehicle and 30 minutes of dealership time. Automakers should have known that this would happen.

There was fraudulent concealment, according to the lawsuit. Automakers knew about defect at least since 2007 when complaints started. Plaintiffs and class members had no reason to know about the defect until it appeared.

It is possible that the mom in the Wintersville OH CO poisoning left her car running without knowing it due to this keyless ignition technology.

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