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.
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.