It was more a case of technology failure than Vorsprung durch Technik – Advancement through Technology – for Audi driver Amanda Stevens, who was left fearing for her life last week.
Heading home for lunch, Noosa businesswoman Ms Stevens got into her 2012 Audi Q3 as usual. But within minutes she was left gasping for air with the temperature inside the car soaring.
The keyless-entry car had locked her in. It was 41 degrees outside and she did not have a phone to call for help.
“I got in, shut the door, went to press the start button and a message came up saying ‘key not identified’,” Ms Stevens said.
“All the doors locked themselves. I tried to wind down the windows and open the doors. When that didn’t work I started to panic. I was trapped.
“Within a couple of minutes I was struggling to breathe inside the car, because it was parked in the sun.”
Frantic – and with the horn not working, either – Ms Stevens starting screaming for help and waving to passers-by.
“Luckily a man walking past realised what was happening and managed to open the door from the outside,” she said.
“I was a wreck – I thought I was going to die.
“I hate to think what could have happened if I had had a child in the car.”
Audi has now taken the car away for tests.
Ms Steven’s story has prompted another call for door release mechanisms to be fitted to vehicles with deadlocks.
National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council executive director Ray Carroll said people were often trapped in cars because of deadlocks that were intended to deter thieves.
”As far as we’re concerned, they are a good idea,” he said. ”Many people smash a window to gain access to a car [but] if it’s deadlocked they can’t open the car – from that perspective, it’s a good idea.”