A man nearly died after the electrical door handles ceased functioning in his Cadillac XLR.
It’s a harrowing story. Peter Pyros, 75, nearly died when the electrical system for his 2006 Cadillac XLR stopped work, trapping him inside.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Peter explained that he normally doesn’t drive his XLR, but with Winter approaching he thought it’d be a good idea to run the engine one more time before storing it for the season. He went down to the garage to start the car and ensure the engine still worked, then he planned to go inside to get changed for an afternoon of driving.
He didn’t take his cell phone with him to the garage. He didn’t think he’d need to.
Satisfied that the engine would indeed turn on, Pyros switched it off and then tried to exit the car, only to find he couldn’t. After turning off the engine, the car’s electrical system went dead. On the XLR, everything is electric, from the door handles to the windows. Without power, Peter was trapped.
It was August 31st in Cleveland Ohio, which was a 70-degree day. Even parked inside his garage, the XLR’s cabin quickly became a sweltering sauna. He tried to punch out the windows, but they were too strong. He tried to scream for help, but nobody heard him.
"I accepted, at some point, that this is how I'm going to die,” said Pyros. To ensure that family members and loved ones didn’t think he had committed suicide, Peter scribbled a goodbye letter on a piece of paper.
Eventually, neighbors noticed a pounding sound. They sent Peter a text but never received a reply. That’s when they hopped the fence and noticed the garage door open with the XLR’s windows completely fogged. Then they called the police.
After 14 hours, firefighters arrived and managed to get Peter to pop the hood--which was not electrically powered--and put some juice into the car’s battery. Finally with power, Peter was able to exit the car.
The tragic part of the story? There’s an emergency manual door release at the bottom of both front seats. Peter said he never knew about the release because he didn’t read the manual.