Toyota intends to further enhance the safety of its 2020 models with two new customer protection features for the North American market: automatic engine shutoff and automatic park. For cars equipped with the carmaker's Smart Key System keyless entry, automatic engine shutoff does exactly what it says "after a pre-determined period of time in the event the vehicle is left running." Toyotas with keyless entry already sound a chime and provide a visual warning about a running engine; the new system enhances those two cautions as well.
Toyota didn't specify how long is "a pre-determined time." Nor did it explain if this will operate when the car is idling but there's a driver in the vehicle, or if it's only when the car detects the driver leaving. A New York Times story last year noted the deaths of some 28 drivers over 12 years, in which the drivers unintentionally left their cars running in their garages. The reason has been identified as "keyless" proximity fobs and push-button start, where owners, perhaps older drivers more accustomed to a keyed ignition, overlooked the fact they didn't turn off the engine, which flooded their homes with exhaust fumes.