Toyota cars and SUVs with push-button ignitions will now turn themselves off after being parked for a period of time، even if the driver didn't hit the "Engine Off" button، as the CNN said.
Cars that can be left running for hours، even after the driver has left the vehicle، have been blamed for deaths. Since 2006، a total of 37 people have died and 80 have been injured by carbon monoxide gas after drivers left vehicles with push-button ignitions running in the garage، according to the organization KidsAndCars.org. Toyota and Lexus vehicles were involved in almost half of those incidents، a spokeswoman for the organization said. Lexus is Toyota's luxury division. Carbon monoxide is a colorless، odorless gas that can cause permanent brain damage or death. When a garage is connected to the house، it can seep into the home if a car's engine is left running. The company would not comment on whether past incidents had any bearing on the company's decision to add the feature. Toyota said the keyless ignition systems in its cars today meet or exceed all relevant federal safety standards. This sort of mistake is especially easy to make in hybrid vehicles، since the gasoline engine in a hybrid often doesn't run when the vehicle is not moving. That can make it hard to tell if the car has been shut off. If it hasn't، the gasoline engine will start up after a short while as the car's batteries begin to lose charge. It can even happen in non-hybrid vehicles، since many cars today have very quiet engines that are nearly inaudible at idle. Keyless ignitions allow drivers to start their cars with the press of a button، as long as the remote key fob is with them inside the vehicle. This feature has been offered in the US market since the early 2000s and is now very common on new cars. Many new car models don't even offer the option of an ignition with keys.