The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

NHTSA Proposes Standards for Keyless Ignition Systems

December 09, 2011

WASHINGTON – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed standardizing how keyless-start ignition ("push start") systems work on new vehicles.

The proposed rules in the federal register would standardize the length of time necessary to push a control to stop a vehicle. They also add a requirement that vehicles with keyless ignition emit an audible warning to any driver who tries to exit the vehicle without turning it off, or who tries to turn it off without putting it in “park.”

The specific recommendations include requiring the driver to hold the control for a minimum of half a second to shut down a vehicle’s propulsion system (whether the vehicle is in motion or stationary) and that the system must shut down within 1 second of the driver initially pushing the stop control.

According to the organization, a drivers’ inability to stop a moving vehicle in a panic situation is one reason for the proposed standards. NHTSA cited drivers who unintentionally leave the vehicle without its transmission’s being locked in “park,” allowing it to potentially roll away, as another concern. Lastly, drivers who accidentally leave the vehicle running in an enclosed area, due to their unfamiliarity with keyless ignition systems, or who simply forget to turn the engine off, could create situations where individuals get carbon monoxide poisoning.

You can read the proposed rules here.

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