Northamptonshire children left trapped in sweltering car because of 'safety feature'

Jessica Rice is calling on Audi to compensate the family.
Jessica Rice is calling on Audi to compensate the family.

A mum whose baby and toddler were trapped in her car during one of the hottest days of the year has warned others of a "safety feature" that automatically locks the doors.

Jessica Rice had put her two young children in the car - four-month-old Tommy and one-year-old Teddy - and left her keys on the driver's seat.

Thankfully four-month-old Tommy slept through the ordeal.

Thankfully four-month-old Tommy slept through the ordeal.

After she finished strapping the children into their car seats, she closed the door...only for every door on the Audi Q5 to lock shut.

Jessica, who lives in Guilsborough, said she has now found out that it is a safety feature and if the keys are left in the car for 30 seconds it locks automatically.

"I went into absolutely panic. It was a very hot day and you see all the adverts about not leaving dogs in the car. All I could think about was how hot my children would be getting. Teddy was absolutely dripping with sweat.

"There was no way I could get into the car and my phone and handbag were also locked in the car."

One-year-old Teddy was left distraught after the incident in the baking hot sun.

One-year-old Teddy was left distraught after the incident in the baking hot sun.

Jessica's mother was nearby and they called the Audi service line but were told it would take more than an hour to get there.

So instead, the called the fire brigade. A crew from nearby Guilsborough came to the rescue and within minutes they had arrived and set about free Tommy and Teddy from the car.

"Luckily Tommy slept through it but Teddy was absolutely distraught. He was so hot and upset about having the window smashed in the car. When we got them out, we were cooling them down and giving them so much water."

Since the traumatic incident, Jessica contacted the Audi customer services department and says she was very disappointed with their response.

"They are accepting no responsibility or giving us any assistance. They said they will not change the safety feature," Jessica said.

They have also requested that Audi pay for a replacement window for the one that was smashed but they says they have been told that the company has said it will not foot the bill.

An Audi spokeswoman said: "Unfortunately, whilst we fully empathise with the regrettable situation Ms Rice was left in, we cannot comment on the specific functionality of the locking system on this particular vehicle without a full inspection at a local Audi Centre. We have made contact with Ms Rice directly to arrange this."