Push-Button Start Linked To Growing Risk Of Carbon Monoxide Deaths25
Push-button start has found its way to millions of new vehicles sold every single year. The feature does away with a physical key to turn the engine over and replaces it with a fob to transmit a radio signal. When the radio signal is in range, the car will start up with the push of the button.
However, for all of its convenience, there’s an underlying consequence for some drivers. The New York Times reported on Sunday that the keyless-start feature and carbon monoxide deaths are becoming more prevalent, and regulations are lagging behind to protect drivers.
The detailed report includes multiple stories of drivers who left their car running without realizing of all makes and models. Toyota is named specifically in many of the stories. One story details how a 75-year-old man exited his vehicle without realizing the engine was still on. As the car sat in his garage, carbon monoxide fumes filled the home and left him dead. Authorities said the carbon monoxide levels were 30 times the acceptable level.
Now, groups are demanding action and putting together litigation to serve various automakers. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration once proposed a federal regulation that called for a series of beeps to alert the driver the engine is still running. The regulation also called for the engine to shut down automatically.
But automakers pushed back and the regulation has sat in limbo for years. And although more automakers are taking measures to prevent carbon monoxide deaths, slightly older vehicles are still at risk. And it’s not exactly inexpensive for automakers to fix the problem. General Motors spent $5 per car to to install an automatic emergency shutoff in a 2015 safety recall.
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The other day I got to drive my coworker X1. It was fun and zippy but the push button stop/start threw me off. I pushed it to turn off the car, we got out and shut the door but it was still running. Didn’t turn off til she locked it.
She knew of this but to me it was perplexing. I’m assuming it would have shut off by itself bc god forbid someone forgot or doesn’t always lock their car. But I expect the car to stop running when I turn it off. Electronics still running til the door is opened? Fine. But turn the engine off when I press “off”.
Umm… either your co-worker has a defective design or that’s seriously stupid design.
My wife’s Nissan Cube —
1. Push the unlit button, the car starts, the button illuminates.
2. Push the lit button, the car stops, and the button goes dark.
That is: you get a visual cue if the engine is even on. You have to be blind not to see it. If you get out with the car on and don’t notice a deafening weird alert, you’re deaf. Blind and deaf drivers shouldn’t exist.
Thinning the herd!
I was literally going to say the same thing, do we really want to be on the road with this guy?
I don’t why in this day and age everyone doesn’t have adequate smoke and CO2 detectors in they homes. In Providence R. I. the city will even install free smoke detectors for anyone who asks. The next time I get stopped for my loud Corvette exhaust I will just use the push button off excuse. Has to be loud so I can tell if it’s running. God, how do some people get by.
I will just never understand the widespread appeal of push start. I never really “got it” from the beginning (what was wrong with a key?), but thought maybe it would make sense once I had it -Nope. I’ve found it to be more of a nuisance than anything. It eliminates the step (oh so exhausting) of removing the keys from my pocket to press “unlock” on the fob, and inserting and turning to start the car once inside, BUT now that those keys are still in my pocket I can’t unlock it on approach until I touch the button on the door handles. This irritates my wife, as she can’t start getting in if she reaches her side of the car first, or if I have to load items into the trunk. I suppose the proximity function could solve that, but for security reasons I don’t want my doors unlocking or locking unless I say so. I suppose the real benefit is to women that keep their keys in their purse, but as a guy that keeps them in my pocket, they can occasionally be uncomfortable and stabby depending on how they are sitting in there. Also the fob in my 2017 Lacrosse was poorly designed, and the lock button likes to press in my pocket, which in addition to the occasional inconvenience of having my car be locked in the garage, has caused the irritating horn chirp that GM Authority recently dedicated an article to, when flexing into or out of the car. I also had the keys slide out of the pocket of a pair of shorts in a rental car, which caused a panic as to where the keys where, and upon locating them, an intricate extraction. Then, I sometimes have to drive a car with actual keys, and I often get in and buckle up before I realize that the keys are in my pocket, and I will actually need to get them out in order to proceed. I’ve also gotten into my car without the keys, and only realized they weren’t in my pocket after attempting to start the car. I’ve never walked away from my car with it unintentionally running, but I have gotten distracted and forgotten to push the button, and have also pushed the button (not hard enough?) and it failed to turn the car off, but immediately noticed that the radio was still playing after opening the driver’s door. Today’s cars run pretty smooth and quiet, so I could see an older person not noticing and walking away. I just feel that push starts have created a whole bunch of problems and inconveniences that didn’t exist before, just to solve a problem to a question I wasn’t asking.
I can’t say this was an easy read, yet trying make sense of this was harder…To open the door you’re going to grab the door handle, it’s one single action to unlock the vehicle…Most vehicles have settings, you can set the drivers door handle to unlock ALL doors if this helps…If one is uncomfortable with this feature, usually the keyfob holder grab the front passenger handle which can unlock all the doors…For the hands full in the trunk, a push button start isn’t a factor here although more and more lower MSRP CUVs are gaining power tailgates where you can wave your foot or something under the bumper…I’m not sure how the MY17 Lacrosse fab is, perhaps they make a cheap protective cover, perhaps you have other things in your pocket…While there are small business rental car fleets who may take a different approach, almost all of the major rental car fleets cable tie both fobs together in the hopes you lose them and they can charge you for two replacements…
“It eliminates the step (oh so exhausting) of removing the keys from my pocket to press “unlock” on the fob, and inserting and turning to start the car once inside – ”
You can make ANY feature in a car sound silly that way. “It eliminates the step (oh so exhausting) of reaching down for the crank, giving it a few spins, and having fresh air.”
Suppose you get in and out of your car four times a day. It takes about 3 seconds to start the car and to stop it and pocket the key. That’s 24 seconds if you do this 4 times a day. Or 146 minutes a year.
That’s the time it takes to watch CASABLANCA. And that’s just the time it takes to start and stop the car inside. We haven’t included unlocking the car.
I agree 100%. Not only is it promoting “laziness”, but don’t tell me there isn’t something satisfying about physically turning the key and hearing the engine turn over. I will never own a car with push button start…. ever!
Same deal with the unlock; my dad uses it so he doesn’t have to take his keys out of his pocket and myself and my mom find it infuriating having to wait for him to reach the door; especially since were usually the first ones there. there defiantly times where; for me it would have been good to have because i was carrying a lot of things and having to actually hold the keys and put them in the ignition ect. But the thrill of turning the key and the reliability, far outweigh those very few times.
My two present cars still use the ignition key although I can start them remotely to cool the cabin faster. GM did well to put up warning alerts if the car is running when the fob is taken outside. And GM added the delay power off if the car is still running without a fob nearby. I suggest adding a seat sensor too so the car shuts off after a delay if there is no driver.
My response to you;
Why can’t you take the fob out and unlock the door? Everyone I have seen has the ability to do that just like the old ones when you used a key to start.
Not a response to your posting but in general;
People just need to PAY ATTENTION to what they are doing it is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY not the fault of the design.
I broke a nail putting my jeans on this morning they should make pants easier to put on so this doesn’t happen, it surly was not my fault… Jeeze take ownership of your actions, if you are that F-N Stupid then buy an old car!
I’ve read the story before. I just really think that How can you not know if your vehicle is turned off or not in gasoline cars? You can really feel it when you start your car or turn the car off as it kinda shakes. Now unless he’s driving a Rav4 Hybrid or any electric vehicles then I can understand. But for Gasoline cars?
I hate to say this but that is stupidity at it’s best and maybe as someone said thinning the stupid herd.
We have a 17 Impala and if i shut the door and I walk away with the fob in my pocket and the car is running, I get a horn alert. Hey stupid you left me running…shut me off. The car will eventually shut off. In case you’re so drunk you can’t hear the horn or you wave thinking someone is honking at you in your garage…
Someone will for be an idiot and ruin this nice option. Aka I split my hot coffee on me and it’s your fault I split it and it scolded me…wow as me… judge awards millions…yea.
And guess what NY Times wrote it…nuff said.
Natural selection at work.. SMH
Low hanging fruit! The dumbest people always go first and this no different! New laws should not be made to prevent this, let’s use this new technology to thin out the heard that doesn’t need to be roaming the earth!
Stop pandering to the lowest people on earth!
Never herd anything so ridiculous. Don’t they know the heard needs thinning? All this pandering to low hangers is torquing my nuts!
Gotta have our change for the sake of change. Must replace simple, time honored and effective with needlessly complicated and potentially dangerous and everyone had better embrace it! Camry’s V6 is so glassy smooth and silent, anyone with poor hearing could’ve mistakenly failed to recognize it was still running, not just an elderly man that everyone here seems to think deserved to punch his card at the glue factory. Instead of acknowledging the pitfalls of our beloved, yet so often asinine tech, we disrespect its victims? What’s wrong with keys?
Perhaps one can apply the culling the herd analogy to the morons napping at the wheel of their Teslas on Autopilot out of blind faith mixed with pure arrogance, but this is not the same and all of these unnecessary technology related deaths are tragedies.
I can think of two GM vehicles, perhaps there are more, that have non-traditional shifters…The Bolt EV and the GMC Terrain…I believe the Bolt, after shifting into your forward gear, once you come to a complete stop, you I think open the door then unlatch your seatbelt and “shifts” into park and turns the vehicle off…For the Terrain, I believe once you come to a complete stop you press the engine start/stop button and it will automatically shift into park and turn off the vehicle…This will be the future…
I can absolutely relate to the danger as I accidentally left my XTS running in a parking lot. Forum geniasses can call me old, senile or dumb, but here are the real reasons. The engine is very quiet, the radio stays on until the door is opened, (important) the starter push button is hidden behind the steering wheel, I don’t need to manually lock the car, and five, my wife was yakking the whole time. edit: I don’t have the horn alert “on” because it is annoying to me and others. “Your horn works, try your lights”.
Fixing the wife problem is the easiest thing to fix! Learning to shut off a car should be common sense!
SO GM provided a clear deterrent to prevent you from leaving your car running. You disabled the deterrent because it is “annoying” and yet you complain about the danger that you could have prevented had you left the horn warning enabled.
You sir are the danger, not the push button start.
The fact that this argument must rage on endlessly; that this post cannot be laid to rest is proof of the idiocy of the poorly conceived push button start. A keyed ignition cylinder was the gold standard and universally understood. Until Mini and Ferrari and other elitist Europeans decided it wasn’t good enough for them. And of course, all the tech obsessed had to have it and now you have all this unnecessary dumbass BS. It’s a fad. Plain and simple. I can still put a key in the ignition of my nearly 50 year old Chevelle and start it right up. Your prox sensor electronic nightmares will all be in the junkyard 48 years from now because nobody will be able to maintain all these dumb electronics and nobody will care. It’s junk. Malarchy. Too bad nobody honors simplicity anymore. Change for the sake of change and asinine, Senna.
All these complaints about push button starts from individuals with little or no experience with them. And for the individuals that have left keyless ignition vehicles running please answer this one question.
How would having a key in an ignition stopped you from leaving your “quiet” running car still running when exiting?
Pushing the ignition button is no different than putting the car in park before exiting. It is a learned and instinctive effort when one becomes a responsible vehicle operator.
It’s 100% lack of awareness and people need to take responsibility for themselves and their actions.
If, in addition to the factors listed in my previous post, one has been conditioned for 50 years to rotate and withdraw a key from a lock cylinder to shut down the engine, common sense would dictate placing the button somewhere that it is plainly visible and an obvious color difference. Ford did this for example, on the Mustang, red rimmed white button by the shifter. Cad XTS button blending in color with the dash, invisible behind the wiper stalk/steering wheel. No special regulations needed, just some common sense engineering!
I don’t know how they remember how to start the car, if you can do that then you can remember to shut the car off. This is just plain stupidity and there is no excuse to make it OK! If you can remember how to start it and not shut it down then don’t drive it, please turn your license in because you surly don’t know how to operate a motor vehicle safely and properly to start with!
Not many race cars have keys, especially fully modified NHRA/NASCAR I wonder who turns them off?