Alleged Design Flaw in Keyless Fob Ignition Systems Leads to 13 Deaths

American Association for Justice Trial News
September 17, 2015

Martis Alex discusses a consumer class action concerning a flaw in the design of keyless fob ignition systems

“We brought this action to protect millions of consumers nationwide, who purchased vehicles with this deadly safety defect,” said Martis Alex, partner and Chair of the Consumer Protection Litigation Practice at Labaton Sucharow. “When we filed our complaint, we knew of at least 13 deaths, but since filing, we have learned of more deaths and near-deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning stemming from these keyless ignition systems.”

“The truth is every one of these deaths and serious injuries could have been prevented by auto manufacturers installing a simple auto-off mechanism to turn the car engine off when the driver leaves the car, unaware that the engine is still running,” Alex said. She also noted that “some manufacturers have installed engine auto-off in some, but not all, of their latest car models—take for example the Ford 2014 and 2015 Lincoln MKS. They now have engine auto-off, while for consumers who purchased other Ford 2014–2015 models, which are not equipped with the same safety feature, those drivers and their families are vulnerable to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, serious injury, and death.”

Alex noted that the plaintiffs are using the civil justice system “to prevent more deaths and serious injuries by requiring the automakers to implement the simple software solution that will save lives.”