Chastity Glisson’s family is suing Toyota for Florida auto products
liability and wrongful death. The 29-year-old died on August 25 from carbon
monoxide poisoning when she left her Lexus running in her garage. Also
nearly killed in the CO poisoning accident was Timothy Maddock, who was
Glisson’s boyfriend. He is suing the automaker for his debilitating injuries.
Glisson’s mom Kimberlin Nickles says that the reason the tragic accident happened was because the Lexus’s Smart Key system allowed the car to keep running silently. She says that her daughter either left the car running by accident or thought she had shut down the Lexus but in fact did not. Because Toyota designed the vehicle to be soundless and smooth, Glisson was not aware that the vehicle’s engine was still running. It didn’t help that she had brought the key fob into the house with her.
Nickles believes that Toyota’s Smart Key system is a convenience that brings with it certain safety risks, such as the risk of CO if the vehicle is inadvertently kept running. She claims Toyota ignored such “foreseeable risks” and failed to install a switch that can automatically shuts down the vehicle.
Nickles is not the first person to complain about Smart Keys. Just last year, another woman filed herToyota Smart Key lawsuit claiming New York auto products liability and personal injury. Mary Rivera says she sustained brain damage, can no longer walk, and suffers from communication and cognitive challenges because she was exposed to CO monoxide when she didn’t shut down the car. She says that the Smart Key design’s keyless ignition system makes it easy to forget to turn off the engine. Rivera now requires full-time care. Ernest Codelia Jr. died from the CO poisoning during that incident.
The Toyota Smart Key is a fob attached to a key ring that can start up a car automatically if it is within a certain rage of the vehicle. No actual key has to be inserted in the ignition.
Seeing potential safety hazard, regulators rethink ignition rule, BendBulletin, February 18, 2011
Smart Key Blamed for Another Death, Courthouse News, June 21, 2011
Examining the Drawbacks of Smart Key Fobs, NY Times, February 11, 2011
Examining the drawbacks of Smart Key Fobs, NY Times, February 11, 2011
Related Web Resource:
Toyota Motor Corporation