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Class-action lawsuit claims automakers knew about deadly defect

Aside from a home, for most people, a motor vehicle is the largest purchase they will ever make. Consumers who purchase a motor vehicle have the right to expect that a vehicle and all of its components have undergone and passed extensive safety tests and inspections. Despite this reasonable expectation which is fortified and enforced by consumer protection laws, in recent years, the number of recalls involving dangerous and defective motor vehicle parts has skyrocketed.

One of the most-recent legal battles to be waged concerning dangerous and defective auto parts names 10 defendants who plaintiffs contend did nothing to warn or protect consumers from defective keyless entry systems. The class-action lawsuit claims that the deadly systems are linked to the deaths of at least 13 people and the injuries of many more.

According to the lawsuit, approximately 5 million vehicles are equipped with the defective keyless ignitions which fail to shut off when drivers remove and take the electronic key fobs with them away from the vehicle. Consequently, the engines remain on and emit carbon monoxide which can result in those who are exposed to the deadly gas suffering poisoning-related injuries including death.

The 28 plaintiffs who have joined the lawsuit claim that automakers including BMW, Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Honda "have long known about the risks of keyless ignitions...yet deceived drivers by marketing their vehicles as safe." They further assert that the defendants' failure to warn and protect consumers directly lead to the deaths of 13 individuals.

Individuals who have been injured or otherwise negatively impacted by defective and dangerous auto parts or components may choose to take legal action. An attorney who handles product liability cases can answer questions and assist an individual in seeking damages and compensation.

Source: Reuters, "Ten automakers are sued in U.S. over 'deadly' keyless ignitions," Jonathan Stempel, Aug. 26, 2015 

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