WOBURN, Mass. (CBS) – The odor of fume is burned into Lisa Montanaro’s mind. As she drove location to Woburn from Pennsylvania 3 weeks ago, aft her 6-year-old lad Nico fell dormant successful his booster seat, she started to odor thing funny.
“My eyes started to burn,” she recalled successful an interrogation with WBZ-TV successful Boston. After a fewer much minutes, she decided to propulsion disconnected the highway, cheque connected the car, and capable the state tank.
“I don’t know, mother’s intuition,” Lisa explained. “I don’t know, determination was conscionable thing that was off.”
She was close — erstwhile she went successful the backseat to cheque connected Nico and pulled his pillow retired from down him, the car filled with smoke. “I started freaking out,” she explained. “I had state being pumped into my car astatine the time. Screaming astatine my lad to get retired of the car, get him out, halt pumping the gas.”
The pillow was burned to the seat, and erstwhile Lisa ripped it off, it revealed a gaping spread successful some the pillow and the car’s rear seat. Nico got a tiny pain connected his manus erstwhile she ripped him from the car. His sweatshirt and parts of his broad had melted together.
That’s erstwhile Lisa learned that earlier his nap, Nico had turned connected the rear spot heater, and it had intelligibly malfunctioned. “It’s been a large car up until then,” she said. “I mean successful a cardinal years we ne'er thought thing similar that would happen.”
Auto information adept Sean Kane of Safety Research and Strategies says spot heater malfunctions are not common, but not unheard of either. “They are not common, but they are surely known and person been taxable to a fig of recalls implicit the years,” helium told WBZ. “Typically, they bash not effect successful superior injuries oregon fatalities, which is the bully news. The effect of that is often times incidents spell unreported particularly if the trader oregon shaper decides to hole the conveyance for someone.”
Still, Kane says these malfunctions tin beryllium dangerous. “The information is, you are driving a conveyance and you get fume wrong the vehicle,” Kane said. “That tin beryllium truly problematic and tin pb to a clang arsenic well.”
Lisa Montanaro felt that fearfulness erstwhile her emotions settled. “If I didn’t propulsion implicit and helium had woken up connected his own, helium would’ve gotten up and nary substance however helium moved helium would’ve moved that pillow and helium astir apt would’ve burned himself and would’ve been screaming,” she said. “I don’t cognize however panicky I would’ve gotten. It could’ve ended up deadly for each I know.”
Nico told his parents he’ll ne'er nap successful the car again, and Lisa and her hubby Tony accidental they’ll ne'er thrust the 2013 BMW X5 again. They’re utilizing a loaner car portion the dealership works retired the adjacent steps.
“I deliberation for immoderate car that has heating coils, that electrical component,” Tony explained. “If you’re retired connected a agelong car ride, you are astatine hazard that car catching fire.”
The Montanaros accidental they wanted to stock their communicative not to shame the car company, but to dispersed awareness. “We instrumentality a batch of agelong car rides,” Tony said. “Do I person to interest astir my kid being connected fire? I don’t privation to person to record that suit ever.”
WBZ reached retired to BMW for a remark but did not perceive back.