Monday, September 17, 2018

Why it's always good to read the owner's manual


The emergency door release handle doesn't work if you don't know it's there

SEPTEMBER 14, 2018
Jake Lingeman

Peter Pyros, a 75-year-old Cleveland man, thought he was going to die in his 2006 Cadillac XLR sports car. He was locked in, with a dead battery and no cellphone, stuck in his garage for almost 14 hours. The XLR uses an electrical push-button to unlatch the doors, requiring battery power to activate the release.
"It was the most horrifying experience you can imagine," he said Monday in a phone interview with The Washington Post. "I accepted, at some point, that this is how I'm going to die."
Pyros rarely drove his XLR but thought he should shake the dust off before winter. He walked into his garage to start it, planning to go back into his house to grab his phone and change clothes before driving. He tried the engine. Nothing. He tried the electrically opening doors. Nothing. He took the batteries out of the key fob and put them back in. Nothing.
He had no tools to break the windows and couldn’t smash them with his hands or feet. He passed out, woke up, passed out again, for the better part of the day. Pyros was also apparently not aware that the XLR, like the Chevrolet Corvette it’s based upon, has a manual emergency door handle on the floor beside each door for just such an occasion.
Regardless, Pyros prayed for a miracle, and finally it came in the form of a neighbor.
The neighbor heard Pyros pounding, jumped the fence and saw him in the garage. According to the Post, the neighbor called 911, but it took the firefighters awhile to free him. Not sure why they didn’t just break the window -- instead, they had Pyros pop the hood and they jumped the car.
Pyros was extricated, treated at the hospital and released.
GM said in a statement Monday that "any vehicle or key fob can lose power" and "that risk can increase as the vehicle ages."
Pyros says he doesn’t know if he will take legal action, though we’re not sure he would be successful, but he wants to warn others so that they can avoid a similar situation.
What’s the lesson? Keep your wits about you, know your car and keep the owner's manual in the glovebox, folks.

No comments: