CARBON MONOXIDE is an odorless and colorless gas that deprives the heart, brain and other vital organs of oxygen..................

Safety measures have been a matter of contention among automakers, some times even internally. Toyota, for example has a system of three audible signals outside the car-

And one inside, to alert drivers getting out of the vehicle that the motor is still running.

But when Toyota engineers determined that more effective warning signals were needed - the flashing lights or unique tone - the company rejected the recommendation, according to testimony in a wrongful-death suit.

Toyota models, including Lexus, have figured in almost half of the carbon monoxide fatalities and injuries identified by The Times.

''Toyota says its keyless ignition system ''meets or exceeds all relevant federal safety standards.''

Some automakers have designed newer model that alert drivers more insistently when the engine is left running - or that shut if off after a certain period.

Ford's keyless vehicles now have a feature that automatically turns off the engine after 30 minutes of idling if the key fob is not in the vehicle, the company said recently. [According to a federal lawsuit, Ford began introducing the feature in 2013.]

But many older vehicles have not been retrofitted to reduce the hazard. despite the modest expense of doing so. It costs General Motors $5 per car to install the automatic shutoff in a 2015 recall, according to a G.M. report to the safety agency.

Regulations require automakers to address other hazards, associated with Keyless vehicles - theft and rollaways - and those measures might also reduce the carbon monoxide danger. But the safety agency has found shortcomings and inconsistencies by automakers in meeting those rules.

As the number of carbon monoxide deaths grow, the hazard is no secret. A Florida fire chief so many cases that he took to handing out carbon monoxide detectors. And litigation against the companies is mounting.

''We're going to continue to see deaths and injuries,'' said Sean Kane, founder of Safety Research and Strategies, an auto safety research group. ''And the manufacturers will continue to settle cases.''

The exact number of deaths related carbon monoxide from keyless-ignition vehicles left running is unknown, as no federal agency keeps comprehensive records.

Through 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, the safety agency had investigated only four fatal incidents. From news reports, lawsuits, police and fire records and incidents tracked by advocacy groups, The Times has identified 28 deaths and 45 injuries since 2006, but the figures could be higher.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that deprives the heart, brain and other vital organs of oxygen.

Victims are sometimes found with a cherry red rash, a symptom of carbon monoxide molecules attaching to red blood cells. Some who survive live with irreversible brain damage, one couple described life with where they now struggle with severe memory loss and are dependent on hired assistants.

The Honor and Serving of the latest Global Operational Research on *Life and Safety, and Auto-Safety* continues to Part 3. !WOW! thanks authors and researchers David Jeans and Majlie De Puy Kamp.


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