Two deaths in Florida have been linked to a feature now seen in millions of cars on the road today. Now people are taking a closer look at keyless ignitions.
In the same community that experienced this tragedy before, it happened again. Inside a Boca Raton, Florida home, neighbors found an elderly couple dead, in their bed, victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. Investigators say the source of that poisoning: a Mercedes with the keyless ignition feature left running in an attached garage. A deadly scene all to familiar to Tim Maddock.
Tim Maddock /Carbon monoxide victim: "As soon as I saw it, I was like, you know, flashback."
Maddock nearly died two years ago when his girlfriend, Chastity Glisson, accidentally left her keyless Lexus running
in the attached garage of her Boca Raton townhome. Glisson did not survive.
Tim Maddock: "It's still the toughest thing I've ever dealt with... it doesn't go away."
Keyless ignition has been linked to at least five carbon monoxide deaths and numerous injuries across the country.
Critics say the system makes it too easy for drivers to forget to turn their car off, or inadvertently turn it back on
remotely. Among the close calls reported, one a Buffalo Grove couple won't soon forget
"And they said, 'If your house was smaller you would have been dead two hours ago.'"
The national highway traffic safety administration said it would take a look at the emerging problem... but after months of doing so, the agency now says it's been "unable" to decide on a specified period of time after which a car left running should shut off, which is what some safety experts say is the most critical piece of the keyless problem. one with two new deaths attached to it.
Tim Maddock: "You just hope it doesn't take too many more incidences before the manufacturers look at it and say we gotta do something about it."
The NHTSA is trying to determine a specific cut-off time for engines left running.. but say they are also considering people who sleep in their car with climate controls running, or who leave pets in it. The agency is still working on a way to make the feature standard in all cars that use it, to eliminate confusion.