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BMW seat heater malfunctions burning boy and inflicting hearth

WOBURN (CBS) – The scent of smoke is burned into Lisa Montanaro’s thoughts. As she drove house to Woburn from Pennsylvania three weeks in the past, after her six-year-old Nico asleep in his booster seat, she began to scent one thing humorous. “My eyes began to burn,” she stated.

After just a few extra minutes, she determined to tug off the freeway, test on the automobile, and fill the fuel tank.

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“I don’t know, mom’s instinct,” Lisa defined. “I don’t know, there was simply one thing that was off.”

A defective seat heater burned a boy from Woburn (Picture credit score Lisa Montanaro)

She was proper — when she went within the backseat to test on Nico and pulled his pillow out from behind him, the automobile stuffed with smoke. “I began freaking out,” she defined. “I had fuel being pumped into my automobile on the time. Screaming at my son to get out of the automobile, get him out, cease pumping the fuel.”

The pillow was burned to the seat, and when Lisa ripped it off, it revealed a gaping gap in each the pillow and the automobile’s rear seat. Nico received a small burn on his hand when she ripped him from the automobile. His sweatshirt and elements of his blanket had melted collectively.

Lisa Montanaro maintain son’s pillow burned by defective BMW seat heater (WBZ-TV)

That’s when Lisa discovered that earlier than his nap, Nico had turned on the rear seat heater, and it had clearly malfunctioned. “It’s been an ideal automobile up till then,” she stated. “I imply in 1,000,000 years we by no means thought something like that will occur.”

Auto security professional Sean Kane of Security Analysis and Methods says seat heater malfunctions will not be widespread, however not exceptional both. “They aren’t widespread, however they’re definitely recognized and have been topic to numerous recollects through the years,” he stated. “Sometimes, they don’t end in severe accidents or fatalities, which is the excellent news. The results of that’s typically instances incidents go unreported particularly if the seller or producer decides to repair the automobile for somebody.”

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Nonetheless, Kane says these malfunctions may be harmful. “The very fact is, you might be driving a automobile and also you get smoke contained in the automobile,” Kane stated. “That may be actually problematic and might result in a crash as nicely.”

Lisa Montanaro felt that concern as soon as her feelings settled. “If I didn’t pull over and he had woken up on his personal, he would’ve gotten up and regardless of how he moved he would’ve moved that pillow and he probably would’ve burned himself and would’ve been screaming,” she stated. “I don’t understand how panicky I might’ve gotten. It may’ve ended up lethal for all I do know.”

A defective seat heater burned a boy from Woburn (Picture credit score Lisa Montanaro)

Nico instructed his dad and mom he’ll by no means nap within the automobile once more, and Lisa and her husband Tony say they’ll by no means drive the 2013 BMW X5 once more. They’re utilizing a loaner automobile whereas the dealership works out the subsequent steps.

“I believe for any automobile that has heating coils, {that electrical} element,” Tony defined. “Should you’re out on a protracted automobile journey, you might be in danger that automobile catching hearth.”

The Montanaros say they wished to share their story to not disgrace the automobile firm, however to unfold consciousness.

“We take lots of lengthy automobile rides,” Tony stated. “Do I’ve to fret about my child being on hearth? I don’t wish to must file that lawsuit ever.”

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WBZ reached out to BMW for a remark however didn’t hear again.


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