An Arizona man told a Phoenix TV station that he was trapped inside his Tesla Model Y during a 100-degree day with no knowledge of how to get out.
“I couldn’t open the doors. I couldn’t lower the windows,” Rick Meggison, a 73-year-old resident of Peoria told ABC-15. “The computer was dead, so I couldn’t open the glove box. I couldn’t open anything.”
Meggison said his lithium-ion battery had plenty of range on it, but a 12-volt battery inside the vehicle that powers the items that weren’t running was dead. A Tesla service center’s recommendation was to replace that battery.
“I think that Tesla needs to address this,” he said.
Tesla manual door release can be used in emergencies
Tesla does have an override to escape the vehicle if the battery dies or if the door won’t open. The emergency latch is found underneath the window switches of the front seat in the Tesla Model Y.
According to Paul Shoemaker, a Colorado firefighter with extensive training with electric vehicles, not all Tesla’s have such a latch for back seats. He says there is a lack of knowledge about the latch in part because drivers do not fully read their manuals.
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“There are incidents across the United States where people are getting trapped in their car,” Shoemaker explained.
Meggison says he learned about the latch after he got stuck.
“It’s not labeled. You don’t know it’s there unless you know it’s there,” he said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Man trapped inside Tesla when battery died: How to use manual door