Mum Issues Harrowing Warning After Sick Baby Trapped In 'Self-Locking' Car
A Sunshine Coast mother has issued a terrifying warning after her sick baby boy reportedly became trapped in a hot car after its self-locking system failed.
Chloe Stewart took to Facebook to describe the harrowing moment police were forced to smash the window of her 2017 Nissan Pathfinder in order to free her eight-month-old son Joseph.
Joseph became trapped in the car after it locked itself with the smart key inside. Stewart had just taken Joseph to the doctors because he was showing signs of a virus.
After returning to her car on January 14, she put the key on the front seat of the car before closing the door and then fitting Joseph into his capsule in the backseat.
She then closed the door to walk to the other side of the car to place her daughter -- Joseph's twin sister Audrey -- inside, when the car locked itself, leaving Joseph trapped.
"As you can imagine I panicked," she explained.
Stewart claims she purchased the vehicle specifically for its advertised lockout protection features.
She called RACQ who told her they didn't know how long it would take to reach her. She then contacted Nissan who said she should phone emergency services.
Stewart even tried to smash the window in using a hammer supplied by a passing tradie, but that too failed.
"At this stage, I was in tears and feeling helpless as Joseph was clearly getting more distressed with each passing second," she explained.
The police arrived within 15 minutes and smashed in the window to free Joseph from the car before pouring water over his head to cool him down.
"I held Joseph against my chest to comfort him -- and let’s be honest, myself too," Stewart said.
"We feel incredibly lucky that he was otherwise unharmed by the ordeal. My initial reaction was one of guilt so I was greatly relieved that no harm had fallen upon my hands."
She claims to have been in touch with Nissan about necessary repairs and the failed lock system.
Repairs are going to cost Stewart upward of $5600, she said.
"The damage was caused as a direct result of freeing Joseph and averting a potential life-threatening situation.
"Instead, Nissan have recommended I claim the cost of the damage on my car insurance policy," she added.
Stewart said she will have to borrow a car from a friend or family which proves a huge logistical challenge.
"I feel misled by Nissan and its advertising. The lockout protection guarantee I was given at the dealership and saw advertised on Nissan’s website turned out to be inaccurate."
The most important thing is, Joseph is safe but Stewart fears if it had have been any hotter this might not be the case.
"If the day had been slightly hotter, we didn’t have onlookers who offered assistance, or perhaps the police didn’t get there in time – this would have been a very different post."
A spokesperson from Nissan Australia told Essential Baby they believe Stewart purchased the vehicle secondhand from outside of Nissan's dealer network.
"Therefore we can't comment on what was told to the customer by the third party. We have agreed to repair the locking mechanism and are working closely with the customer to determine what has happened and obtain necessary information."
10 daily has approached Nissan for comment.