Erin, a 13-year-old Chicago resident, woke up sick one morning. When she tried to stand up and walk, she ended up collapsing inside her home.
Her younger sister heard their mom, April, screaming to get Erin to the hospital immediately.
Doctors soon realized the cause of Erin’s collapse. As it turned out, the family car uses a fob and keyless ignition, and was accidentally left running overnight. Erin sleeps in the bedroom above garage, and all night the colorless, odorless carbon monoxide fumes seeped into her walls. Erin’s step-dad pressed the “off” button after parking the car in the garage, but didn’t realize the button wasn’t pressed hard enough.
This is not uncommon; many car owners walk away with the fob in hand, but fail to turn off the ignition completely.
Erin was hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning. “You don’t think about those things until it happens to you,” April told CBS Chicago. The concerned mother says car makers should employ an automatic shut-down after some time. Some manufacturers have started to add software, like a dead switch, so vehicles turn off when the fob is not inside.
10 automakers have been sued over this very issue. Eighteen deaths have been reported nationwide as a result of keyless ignition incidents.
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