A consumer class action suit against 10 automakers alleges the companies have known for years about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning when keyless vehicles continue to run after the drivers have left the car, taking their key fobs with them, according to reports Wednesday.
The issue identified in the lawsuit is that a driver can remove the key fob from the vehicle, mistakenly leaving the car running and emitting carbon monoxide. If the garage is attached to a home, the mistake can be deadly.
The class action suit seeks to order Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, BMW, Volkswagen, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Kia to install an automatic shutdown feature on the affected vehicles.
At least 13 carbon monoxide deaths have been reported in connection with the defect, according to the suit.
The suit claims automakers have known about the defect since 2003 and could have prevented the deaths associated with the problem.
Previously, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it would establish a rule regarding the keyless ignition safety issue by February 2015, but that ruling has been postponed until 2016.