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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Kiwi seniors accidentally lock themselves in Mazda3 for 13 hours, nearly die

It's an over-played trope that senior citizens are
bad with technology. Its regular use as a comedic
device, though, overshadows a more dire
circumstance that comes when elderly citizens
are paired with gizmos and gadgets they don't
fully understand.
A couple from New Zealand spent the night in
their new, smart-key-equipped Mazda3 after
thinking they'd locked themselves in, in what The
Otago Daily Times called "a series of 'Murphy's
Law' events." The two thought the car wouldn't
function without the key fob, which had
accidentally been left outside of the car, along
with the owner's manual. That, along with the
combination of stress, darkness and a lack of
overall information about the car nearly killed
Mollieanne and Brian Smith.
After thinking they'd become trapped, the Smiths,
65 and 68, respectively, tried honking the horn to
alert neighbors ? it was Guy Fawkes Night, so the
sound was drowned out by fireworks ? and even
took the Mazda's jack to a window in their
attempt to escape.
When they were discovered and freed 13 hours
later, Mrs. Smith was unconscious and Mr. Smith
was having trouble breathing, with emergency
crews telling the couple another half hour in the
car would have killed them. Mr. Smith later told
The Otago Daily Times he was "very methodical,"
but couldn't figure out how to unlock the car.
"Once I found out how simple it was to unlock it I
kicked myself that I did not find the way out," the
68-year-old told The Times. "I had this mind-set
that I did not have the transponder [so I could not
get out]."
Mazda New Zealand pointed out that is not the
case.
"It's not a design flaw with the car," Mazda New
Zealand General Manager Glenn Harris told The
Times. "What we have said to the [dealership]
network is, with new technologies, don't forget to
show customers how to use them in their entirety
[and] how to override them. There is always a
manual process to override them."
Culled from Autoblog

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