An Unusual Car Safety Hazard Is Claiming Lives

Keyless ignitions causing carbon monoxide deaths
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2019 12:36 PM CDT
For some, the convenience comes with a cost.   (Getty/mrfiza)

(Newser) – Anyone asked to tick off common car safety issues might list things such as exploding airbags or rollovers. But keyless ignitions? As it turns out, the convenience feature has been blamed for nearly 40 deaths since 2005, including seven in the last six months alone, reports the Detroit Free Press and the New York Times. The problem occurs when people inadvertently leave their vehicles running in garages attached to their homes, then succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning. Now, a movement is afoot to put laws on the books requiring stricter safety standards. Details:

  • Couple's death: The Times story focuses on the deaths last month of Sherry Penney, 81, and her physicist husband, James Livingston, 88, in Sarasota, Fla. Penney was renowned in academia and Livingston in science, particularly in the field of magnets. "These are very smart people," Livingston's daughter Susan tells the newspaper. "This kind of situation can happen to anybody." They drove a 2017 Toyota Avalon, which continued to idle after they parked it in their attached garage and went inside their home. They were then poisoned by carbon monoxide.

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