A Queensland mum has shared the terrifying moment her self-locking car trapped her infant son inside on a hot day.
When Chloe and Nicolette Stewart were looking for a safe car to transport their twins they settled on a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder.
They were attracted by the featured “lockout protection” which was advertised to ensure the car could not self-lock with the smart key inside.
“This took away the concern I had around juggling everything when it was time to load the twins into the car,” Chloe wrote in her Facebook post, adding she had bought the car in November.
On January 14, the couple took their seven-month-old twins, Audrey and Jospeh, to the doctor as Joseph was having a fever.
When they returned to the car Chloe wrote she placed her purse containing the car’s smart key on the front seat and closed it so she could focus on securing Joseph into his capsule, she then closed his door.
‘The car locked itself with Joseph trapped inside’
“As I walked around to the other side of the car to put Audrey in, the car locked itself with Joseph trapped inside,” the mother said.
“As you can imagine… I panicked,” the mum said, adding the car was “parked in an uncovered car park in the sun”.
The couple immediately called roadside assistance and their local Nissan dealer, who both recommended dialling triple-0.
While Chloe was on the phone to police, Nicolette sought the help of a nearby tradesman who gave them a hammer, but it “failed to break the window or successfully pry open the window or door”.
“At this stage, I was in tears and feeling helpless as Joseph was clearly getting more distressed with each passing second,” Chloe wrote.
After 15 minutes with the infant trapped inside the hot car, police were finally able to free Jospeh with a specialised hammer and poured water over his head in an attempt to cool him down.
“I held Joseph against my chest to comfort him,” Chloe said, admitting it helped to calm her down as well.
Nissan ‘admits to faulty lock’
Chloe said it took eight days and over 30 calls to a Nissan customer care case manager before they received answers.
“Nissan has now finally admitted the locking mechanism in Joey’s door needs to be replaced due to it failing,” she wrote, but the car company are refusing to cover the cost of repairing the damage to the vehicle from rescuing the seven-month-old.
“They are replacing the faulty lock under the warranty but are refusing to cover the $5600 or so worth of repairs required due to having to free Joseph from the car,” she wrote.
Chloe said Nissan have suggested she claim the damage with her personal insurer and have not provided her with a temporary car to help transport the young family while the repair takes place.
“The damage was caused as a direct result of freeing Joseph and averting a potential life-threatening situation,” she wrote.
“It is unreasonable to me that Nissan on one hand will replace the obviously faulty locking mechanism and agree to cover my excess (admitting fault) but are only prepared to compensate me for 15% of the cost.”
Despite the stressful incident and frustrating response from Nissan, Chloe said she is just relieved her son is safe.
“We feel incredibly lucky that he was otherwise unharmed by the ordeal,” Chloe said.
Yahoo News Australia have contacted Nissan for comment.
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