NHTSA proposing panic stop system for keyless ignition

In the wake of the heavily publicized fatal crash involving a Lexus ES 350 with keyless ignition in California, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing standardizing keyless ignition systems. The government regulator wants all vehicles with keyless ignition to turn off after a button press of just half a second, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The proposal states that among the concerns are "drivers' inability to stop a moving vehicle in a panic situation," according to the report. That's what happened in the Lexus crash that killed four people in 2009, in which a three-second button press was necessary to turn off the engine, according to Bloomberg. The incident was one of many that led to recalls of Toyota vehicles in 2009 and 2010.

Automakers have already discussed standardizing their keyless ignition systems, according to an Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers spokeswoman. The half-second delay falls within a range recommended by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

While this new regulation is clearly a good thing, we do wonder what was wrong with just using keys?

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