Tesla Model Y traps 20-month old baby inside in heatwave

A 20-month old girl in Arizona was recently locked inside a Tesla Model Y after the car’s battery died, creating a “life threatening situation”.

A distressing incident occurred recently in Scottsdale, Arizona, where a toddler was trapped inside a Tesla after its battery died. The child’s grandmother, Renee Sanchez, had loaded her 20-month-old granddaughter into her car seat for a trip to the Phoenix Zoo. After closing the door and walking around to the front seat, Sanchez found that the car’s battery had died, locking her granddaughter inside.

Faced with a potentially life-threatening situation, Sanchez called 911, and firefighters were dispatched to the scene. They had to break a window with an ax to rescue the child, who was understandably frightened by the commotion.

This incident highlights a safety concern with Tesla vehicles and other electric cars. When the main battery dies, the car’s electronics, including the door locks, can also fail. While there is a manual release lever inside the car to unlock the doors, it may not be easily accessible or known to the occupants, especially in a panic situation.

In response to this incident, there have been calls for Tesla and other electric car manufacturers to educate drivers about the manual release procedures and to consider redesigning the system to prioritize safety in the event of a power failure.