Ten of the biggest automobile manufacturers in the world were sued by consumers in the United States that claim the companies did not disclose information on carbon monoxide poisoning risks in over five million cars that are equipped with keyless ignition systems.

Keyless ignition systems allow drivers to start up their vehicles by simply pushing a button, instead of having to insert a key, once the vehicle detects the electronic key fob nearby.

In the complaint that was filed in a Los Angeles federal court, it is claimed that carbon monoxide is emitted when the drivers leave their cars running after taking out the electronic key fobs, falsely believing that the engines of the vehicles will shut down.

The 28 plaintiffs named in the complaint said that the odorless and colorless gas could lead to fatal results when inhaled, including when the cars are parked in garages that are attached to the driver's home. In addition, the defect would also lower the resale value of the vehicles.

According to the complaint, 13 deaths have been caused by the carbon monoxide poisoning risk in the affected vehicles, along with many more infuries.

The defendants cited are BMW including Mini, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda including Acura, Hyundai including Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan including Infiniti, Toyota including Lexus and Volkswagen including Bentley.

The lawsuit claims that the automobile companies have known the risks of using keyless ignitions, which was rolled out in the United States in 2003. However, the companies kept the risks to themselves and marketed the cars with an illusion of safety.

The filed lawsuit is the latest one that seeks to make the automobile industry liable for vehicle defects that make driving an unsafe practice, with previous high-profile cases being the exploding airbags of Japanese supplier Takata and the potentially fatal faulty ignition switches in General Motors vehicles.

According to the plaintiffs, the companies could have prevented the 13 fatalities caused by the carbon monoxide emission if they installed an inexpensive feature to turn off engines left unattended automatically. Ford and General Motors have even taken steps in patenting such a feature.

The lawsuit is seeking to be classified with a class action status, along with an injunction that will require car manufacturers to install the automatic engine shutdown feature on all current and future cars to be sold that will come with a keyless ignition system. The lawsuit is also seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

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