Cadillac XLR driver trapped for 14 hours by electric door release

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An elderly Cleveland man spent 14 hours trapped in his 2006 Cadillac XLR, after a flat battery rendered the electric door release useless.

Although there’s a manual backup release, the man wasn’t aware of it, and didn’t have the owner’s manual on hand to research the way out.

He told the Detroit Free Press he wanted to take the drop-top Cadillac for a spin before Detroit winter rendered it impractical. He sat down, tried to start the car and realised the battery was flat. Because the interior door handles are buttons, not mechanical latches, they didn’t work to let him out.

“It was getting really hot and it was difficult to breathe — this was all within a half hour,” Mr. Pyros told the Detroit paper.

“I was trying to find something to get me out of the car. Nothing worked. I started to scream as loud as I could.”

“I tried pounding on the window thinking someone would hear me. That didn’t work either.”

Eventually, a neighbour popped his head in to see why the garage was open, and saw Pyros banging desperately on the window. The fire department couldn’t lever the doors open with a crowbar, eventually jump-starting the car to get him out.

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