Hagens Berman Blog

Auto News: Keyless Cars, Tesla, Dieselgate

by Hagens Berman

05/14/2018

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Deadly Convenience: Keyless Cars and Their Carbon Monoxide Toll

Weaned from using a key, drivers have left cars running in garages, spewing exhaust into homes. Despite years of deaths, regulatory action has lagged.

It seems like a common convenience in a digital age: a car that can be powered on and off with the push of a button, rather than the mechanical turning of a key. But it is a convenience that can have a deadly effect.

On a summer morning last year, Fred Schaub drove his Toyota RAV4 into the garage attached to his Florida home and went into the house with the wireless key fob, evidently believing the car was shut off. Twenty-nine hours later, he was found dead, overcome with carbon monoxide that flooded his home while he slept.

“After 75 years of driving, my father thought that when he took the key with him when he left the car, the car would be off,” said Mr. Schaub’s son Doug.

Mr. Schaub is among more than two dozen people killed by carbon monoxide nationwide since 2006 after a keyless-ignition vehicle was inadvertently left running in a garage. Dozens of others have been injured, some left with brain damage. read more »

How Dieselgate could topple VW’s new boss Herbert Diess

The emissions scandal catapulted the native Austrian to the pole position at the carmaker. But investigations at Volkswagen and his former employer, BMW, pose a risk to his stellar career. read more »

Police probe whether Autopilot feature was on in Tesla crash

Utah — Police are investigating whether a Tesla sedan’s semi-autonomous Autopilot feature was engaged when it rear-ended a fire department truck in Utah.

The Tesla Model S crashed into the truck at 60 mph (97 kph) apparently without braking before impact, according to police in South Jordan, a suburb of Salt Lake City. The fire department mechanic truck had been stopped at a red light.

The crash comes as federal safety agencies investigate the performance of Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system. read more »