Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Linked to Keyless Ignition Fobs

It seems that the driving public now has another problem to worry about. You know those cars that don’t have a key anymore and all you have to do is push a button to start the  engines?  Well, those same cars that have keyless ignitions are now being blamed for at least 3 deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning.  If you’ve come across the story, you know that one of the deaths occurred in New York and the other two in Florida.  In each case the  drivers did not shut off their engines after arriving home and parking their cars in their garages. Now, how in the world does this  happen?  Apparently, the keyless ignition (called a fob) is  supposed  to shut  off the engines after a specified time period of inactivity.  But, the engines did not shut down and the homes filled with carbon monoxide killing three people and seriously injuring a fourth person. Should the drivers have been responsible for shutting down their engines? Are these deaths the direct result of negligence on the part of the drivers?  Certainly, drivers are responsible for the operation of their vehicles.  But what happens when that responsibility is taken away from them?  What happens when you’re supposed to rely on some gadget to do what it’s supposed to do in order to keep you safe?  Think about it for a minute.  The auto makers want us to believe that their cars are safe.  Their ads tell us that for the sake of convenience, safety, or whatever reason, we should trust what we are told and place our lives in their hands.  So, how does someone forget to shut down their engine?  Answer: they depend on their keyless fob to do its job.

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California Gas Line Explosion

Earlier this year, one of the local television stations in the Nashville Tennessee area reported on a gas explosion in a residential neighborhood. (The story can be found on our website at www.rjhill.com – click on WSMV I Team.) In that report, the gas company denied any wrongdoing even though the line was clearly their responsibility. One of the things that came out of that investigation was that the age of the pipe was approximately 20 years old at the time of the explosion. With miles and miles of pipeline, the gas company has the responsibility for making sure that the line is safe and not leaking. Safety is an obvious issue and it is in the gas company’s best interest not to have to pay for property damage and personal injury as a result of an explosion. Now, we are hearing about another gas explosion, this time in San Bruno. It has been reported that the line involved was installed in 1948 and was a 30 inch line that was classified as a high risk. Why then, do gas utility companies, let their gas lines get to the point where public safety is compromised? Surely, they consider human life more important than their pipelines. Is the economics such that the replacement of aging pipelines is more expensive than paying for property damage, personal injury and wrongful death claims? Is keeping the gas company profitable more important than spending money on pipeline improvements? The public needs to know.

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