A New York man has died after being crushed by an empty car accidentally started by remote control. Michael Kosanovich, 21, had been standing between two parked 2002 Lexus IS300s, on 6 December, when one of them had been started remotely by its owner, police said. The car rolled forward and he was pinned between the two vehicles.
Bystanders tried to push them apart but as they did so, the car rolled forward and crushed him again. Mr Kosanovich was taken to hospital with severe trauma to his torso and legs, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD). He died of his injuries on 7 December. The NYPD said Mr Kosanovich had been inspecting one of the vehicles at the time of the accident, intending to buy it.
A spokeswoman for Toyota Motor North America told BBC News: “Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of Michael Kosanovich. “Although many details are unknown at this time, we have reached out to local law enforcement to offer support in the investigation.” Toyota added that Lexus “did not offer a factory-installed remote start in the 2002 IS” car model.
This would suggest such a remote ignition system would have needed to be retrofitted to work with the 2002 Lexus IS300. The system’s instruction manual warns users they should never remotely start the engine if they are “unaware of the circumstances surrounding the vehicle” as it could pose a threat to the lives of anyone in the car’s vicinity.