car news

Little boy (2) in Hoorn trapped in scorching hot Tesla – Customer service refuses to help mother

August 16, 2022

Tapping the window

We can’t say it often enough: in the summer, you should never leave your children or pets in a car. Yet every year it goes wrong. Firefighters have to tap into windows of cars containing overheated dogs or children every summer. Often the owner is out running errands for a while. But “a little while” is soon too long, when the sun is burning heavily on a car.  

50 degrees or higher       

With an outside temperature of 30 degrees, the inside temperature in a car rises to 50 degrees or higher within half an hour. If it’s even hotter outside – in the Netherlands we’ve hit 40 degrees again this summer – then it can easily get 75 degrees or hotter inside a car.


Anne Visser of Hoorn was wise enough to remove her child from her car when she had driven her husband’s Tesla to her mother’s on August 12. At least, she planned to get her child out of her car. But after she got out of the car herself, the Tesla immediately jumped on lock. Her little son Moos (2) was still in the back seat. Her keys and phone were also still in the car.  


To make matters worse, the Tesla’s deafening alarm then goes off as well. “I think it’s because the key’s battery was low,” Anne tells NH News. “It was a really loud sound. At Blokker, you could still hear it.”

Remote opening

Using her mother’s phone, Anna tries to call her husband. Who can remotely open the Tesla with the app on his phone. Unfortunately, Anna doesn’t get him. “My husband is on vacation and he’s also in the mountains, so he doesn’t have any range.”

Tesla Hotline

Anna decides to call Tesla’ s emergency line. After explaining the situation to a staff member, she is told to her surprise that there is nothing they can do for her. After all, Anna is not the owner of the Tesla and they want to talk to him first before they just remotely unlock the car. “And so that one (her husband, ed.) is unavailable and my little son is trapped in an increasingly hot car,” Anne said.

Fire engine

Moos has been locked in the Tesla for over an hour by now, and the inside temperature continues to rise. Anne decides to call the fire department. “The fire department was quickly on the scene and they smashed the window of the car.” After the fire department gets Moos out of the car, the 2-year-old kid gets another tour of the fire truck and a bear to comfort him.

Why did the Tesla lock up?

After the incident, it became clear why the Tesla automatically locked up. The driver had placed the Tesla key in a handbag that reflects radiation. Therefore, the car thought that the key was not present in the car and there was a possible theft. A Tesla is therefore programmed to then lock automatically as soon as the driver (or thief) leaves the car. A clever piece of engineering, but you just have to happen to know that as an owner. Of course, Tesla customer service could have just reported this and simply helped the woman in need.

Dog mode

Salient detail: Tesla is currently the only brand that has a special feature to keep occupants (especially dogs) who are left in the car on a hot day cool: dog mode. You can read how that works here: