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Auto Defect Attorney

investigating keyless ignition defects & carbon monoxide poisoning reports

Modern conveniences in new automobiles may lead to serious injuries and deaths. In recent years, keyless ignition defects have allegedly led to the carbon monoxide poisoning deaths of more than two dozen people nationwide since 2006. Reports say many other American consumers have been injured, and some left with brain damage.

Keyless ignitions now come standard in over half of new vehicles sold in the United States each year. Rather than carrying a physical key, drivers have a fob that transmits a radio signal, and cars start with the touch of a button. But when accustomed to the habit of turning and removing a key to shut off the motor, many drivers exit their vehicles mistakenly thinking that the car has been turned off.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed safety regulations that may be instituted for very little cost. But the auto industry has pushed back, and while a rule is still under consideration, injuries and deaths related to carbon monoxide poisoning are still reported. Regulators are currently relying on carmakers to install warning features voluntarily, though most have failed to do so.

Some automakers have software that alerts drivers if an engine is left running, like Ford’s keyless vehicles that automatically shut off after 30 minutes of idling if the key is not in the vehicle. Many older vehicles have not been fixed to reduce CO poisoning hazards, despite the small expense of making adjustments. The number of carbon monoxide poisoning deaths grows, the hazard is widespread and litigation against auto companies is mounting.

Joe Lyon is an experienced auto defect and product liability attorney, well-versed in the science and economic impact such an injury or death has on the victim’s life and family.  Following carbon monoxide poisoning injuries and deaths, victims should contact an experienced lawyer to investigate.

Keyless Ignition Design Defect May Lead to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The keyless ignition was introduced the American market in 2002 and the exact number of carbon monoxide deaths related to keyless-ignition vehicles is unknown. In 2016, the NHTSA safety agency investigated at least four fatal incidents. From independent reports, lawsuits, and police records, The New York Times identified 28 deaths and 45 injuries since 2006.

Several reports each year describe a dangerous situation where a car is left running in the garage, and a home fills with carbon monoxide, linking keyless vehicles to CO poisoning accidents. Such incidents concerned the Society of Automotive Engineers enough to develop recommended practices to address keyless ignition CO hazards. The group’s recommendations to carmakers included installing audible or visual alerts or engine automatic shut-off.

The traffic safety administration has also proposed a key rule that would require car manufacturers to provide internal and external alerts that could reduce incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning. Such safety features would cost the auto industry less than half a million dollars a year in software coding for millions of keyless vehicles, a very small price to pay for lives lost to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. The safety agency has not adopted the keyless ignition however, and at least 21 people have died of related accidents. No federal agency actually keeps records of carbon monoxide injury and death stats involving keyless vehicles, so numbers may be grossly underestimated.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and deprives the heart, brain and vital organs of oxygen. Victims who survive may have irreversible brain damage.

Older Drivers at Higher Risk of Keyless Ignition Injury

In Florida, with communities of many older residents, the authorities have noticed that incidents involving keyless ignitions are quite common. A district chief for the Fire Rescue Department in one county even began handing out carbon monoxide detectors and signs for residents to display in their garages to shut off their cars.

But with no auto standard in place for safety features that would address the problems of keyless vehicles left running, accidents are bound to continue into the future. Many auto makers have only begun experimenting with safety features after accidents and subsequent lawsuits are filed. Toyota Motor, for example, began an investigation into its keyless technology after a man drove 250 miles only to realize that his remote key was still at home.

If a loved one has suffered carbon monoxide poisoning due to a keyless ignition system, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.


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Questions about Keyless Ignition Defects

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Any kind of negligence by an individual or company that causes injury or harm can lead to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount a plaintiff is entitled to depends on several factors, particularly how egregious the act and how serious the injury.

Personal injury attorneys generally only will take cases on a confidential and contingency fee basis, which means your lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to reach a settlement or positive verdict. The Lyon Firm will review your case for free and assess what compensation any plaintiff can expect through litigation.

Personal Injury cases can range from minor auto accidents to complex lawsuits filed against large corporations. The Lyon Firm has handled both with equal care. Severe injury requires legal action on occasion, no matter if the injury is the result of a vehicle accident, a dog bite, a boating accident, workplace injury, defective consumer products, medical malpractice, or toxic exposure.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.

Has My Car Been Recalled?

Consumers can follow recall news or search for current and past recalls on the Web sites of the NHTSA, as well as on other car safety advocate outlets. Look on your car windshield for a 17-character Vehicle Identification Number. Your VIN is also located on your car’s registration card.

If your car has been recalled and you have suffered an injury, contact an auto defect attorney to investigate a potential claim

Can I File an Auto Defect Lawsuit?

You may not be aware that your car is defective. It is not always obvious when your seat belt or other safety component fails to function as intended. It can take an expert in auto engineering to determine what contributed to an accident or injury.

You can contact The Lyon Firm, and we will work diligently to review your auto accident case. If an auto defect was in part responsible for an auto injury, a lawsuit can be filed and a large settlement is likely.

If negligent manufacturers and automakers are directly responsible for an auto-related injury, a product liability and personal injury lawsuit may be filed and compensation may be recovered for accident victims. Plaintiffs may seek compensation that may include property damages, past and future medical expenses, lost wages and future earnings, and pain and suffering.

The Lyon Firm takes pride in representing consumers to make America’s roads safer by holding negligent auto manufacturers accountable for auto defects that lead to accidents and injuries. When car makers fail to institute basic safety measures and fail to test auto components before releasing cars tot he public, they may be targeted in product liability lawsuits.

Did an Auto Defect Cause my Accident?

Auto defects have been known to cause accidents in tire failure, tread separation accidents, brake malfunction and sudden acceleration cases.

Auto defects may not cause every accident, but they can play an integral part in causing injury in the event of an accident. This is common in defective seat back collapse, seat belt defects and airbag defects. When these crucial safety features fail to function as they were intended.

Who is Responsible for Auto Defects?

Auto manufacturers and car makers can be held liable in auto defect lawsuits. Many automakers outsource some of their production and may not always be aware of some defects. Honda, for example, purchased all their defective airbags from Takata.

Some defective auto part suits name other defendants like negligent auto dealerships or auto repair shops who alter car parts or fail to properly repair automobiles and leave a serious safety risk.

What Cars are Defective?

The list of defective automobiles changes each year, and it is more likely that certain components are defective rather than an entire brand name. Nowadays many car makers use the same third-party suppliers, which compounds safety issues when a defective auto part is produced.

What are the Most common Auto Defects?

In recent years, the most common auto defects have been faulty airbags. Millions of cars were recalled for defective airbags. Other common auto defects are defective throttles, defective car software, and tire failures. Tire failure has been an issue in many car accidents and truck accidents.

Why Hire a Product Liability Attorney?

A Cincinnati Auto Defect Lawyer can assist in not only reviewing your accident and injury case, but is able to hold large corporations accountable for the negligent actions in releasing unsafe products to the public.

Auto companies must be held liable in order to keep the roads safe in America. So not only can The Lyon Firm seek compensation for injured plaintiffs, but we can file lawsuits to punish car makers for failing to properly test their auto parts before they are sold to the public.

When car makers fail to produce reliable cars and fail to provide basic road safety features, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and product liability attorneys can hold them responsible and help mitigate injuries and future damages.

The majority of accidents and injuries on the road are preventable, but defective auto design and manufacturing defects may leave victims with huge medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, in many cases, permanent injuries.

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against negligent individuals or companies to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Brown County, Kentucky):   The Lyon Firm was second chair a case involving a driver texting and driving when he crossed the median, killing a father of four. The case was resolved once discovery confirmed the cell phone records proved the texting-related incident. The settlement will pay for the surviving childrens’ education. The driver was likely facing additional criminal charges at the time of the settlement.



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  The Lyon Firm was lead counsel in a $495,000 settlement. This case involved a motorcycle operator who sustained fractures of the calcaneus, talus, medial cuneiform, tarsal bones, and tarsometatarsal when a car ignored its driving lane and crossed into his right-of-way. Settlement provided repayment of medical bills of $20,000 and funds for future education to re-enter the work force in a less physically-demanding job.