Cadillac Owner Trapped In XLR For Nearly 14 Hours After Electric Door Failure

Even though he has survived cancer, a stroke and has successfully undergone nine surgeries, 75-year old Peter Pyros found this latest ordeal his most challenging one yet, becoming trapped inside his 2006 Cadillac XLR for nearly 14 hours.

It all started on Friday morning, August 31st, when Pyros decided to take his convertible Cadillac XLR for a spin while the weather still allowed for top-down driving.

According to the Washington Post, the man first intended to start the car, before walking back to the house, getting a change of clothes and heading back to take it our for a drive around the neighborhood. He also didn’t have his mobile phone with him, nor did he tell anybody where he was going.

After getting in the car, Pyros shut the door (which locked) and pressed the push-to-start button. When nothing happened, he tried putting the key fob into a slot, but was again unsuccessful to start his XLR, despite having replaced the batteries in the fob. After about 30 minutes, it became clear that he was in serious trouble due to the heat.

“It was the most horrifying experience you can imagine, said the 75-year old man. “I accepted, at some point, that this is how I’m going to die.”

He also wrote “This is a terrible death, I can’t get out of the car”, on a piece of paper, hoping that whoever found him wouldn’t think that he committed suicide.

During his time in the XLR, he tried everything from punching out the window with his fist, kicking out the glass with both feet, even pressing his mouth to the door and screaming for help. Unfortunately he didn’t have any tools or sharp objects he could have used.

There were multiple moments in which he passed out, waking up thinking that he couldn’t believe he was in this situation – a 75-year old man locked inside his own car, falling in and out of consciousness and having to urinate on his shoes.

At one point, he came to accept his fate and became more calm.

All’s well that ends well

Thankfully, this story takes a turn for the better as without the man’s knowledge, his neighbor heard him making noises and proceeded to send him a text message. When he didn’t get a response, the neighbor jumped the fence and saw that Pyros’s garage door was open. After learning what happened, the neighbor called 911 and firefighters arrived on the scene soon after.

The way they got him out was by telling him to pop the hood so that they could jump the engine and power up the car.

Meanwhile, GM released a statement about the incident saying that “any vehicle or key fob can lose power” and “that risk can increase as the vehicle ages.”

“Manufacturers provide a way to manually unlock the doors if the vehicle or fob loses power. Because this varies by make and model, drivers should review the Door Lock section of their owner’s manual so they will know what to do. In the case of the XLR, there is a door release handle located on the floor, next to each seat.”

It’s safe to say, Pyros had no idea about the handle, and according to him, even if he would have attempted to read the owner’s manual, it would have been too steamy inside the car for him to see properly.

  • Hoe

    there should be nothing wrong in reading the owner´s manual. Even before having this kind of problems.
    That is why OEMs make owner´s manuals!


      • Mark Hawthorne

        Why are you still SHOUTING?

  • I’m glad that he is survived, definitely some traumatic experience there. I don’t think it was his fault about him don’t know how to manually open the door. Think about it, non pistonheads sometimes struggle to remember their car model and make, and this man is a bit old. But it should be lesson for everyone though.

    Also I wonder about that myth, on how headrest metal rod can be used for breaking glasses.

  • benT

    I read about this somewhere which said the driver was horribly trapped in the convertible with the roof down.

  • Liam Paul

    wait so the Horn didn’t work?

    • Stephen G

      The horn works with electricity.

      • Liam Paul


  • Stephen G

    This should be a lesson to Cadillac! Stop making simple things complicated. What happened to the lock on the inside of the door? Everybody knows you pull the knob or push the lever. Why reinvent the wheel (at considerable more cost I’m sure)? And who wants to read a 500 page novel about using your car?

    • BobLoblaw

      Cadillac is not the first or last to release a car with electronic latches. The XLR when it came out was a Halo car for Caddy so they were basically trying to show off everything they could with the car, style, tech, engine. It’s not like they put this tech in every car they make. There is a literal lever on the floor next to the seat for this exact situation. It isn’t Cadillac’s fault people are stupid.

      • Stephen G

        All my cars have electric locks. They all have a knob or lever that manually unlocks the door if there is no power on the door where they have been located in cars for as long as cars had door locks. They are in plain sight not hidden in a bizarre unsuspecting location. Also, why would they put in a “literal” lever when they should have put in an “actual” lever?

    • Enter Ranting

      Well, you could look in the index of the manual, under “Door, Emergency Release” for starters. No point reading the whole thing. Hard to have sympathy for someone trapped for 14 hours in a car with the instructions for escape in the glovebox.

      • Subi-Rubicon1

        Exactly my sentiments.

      • brn

        He could have, if he didn’t remove the manual from the car. Who does that?

      • Stephen G

        I agree that he’s probably not the sharpest tool in the shed but you have to have a bit of sympathy for him. Anyway, we don’t know that the manual was in the car.

    • USOZ = Fake Account✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Now GM has “How Videos” about how to operate your vehicle.


      • Stephen G

        Who said he owned it for 12 years, maybe he just bought it. Anyway, after 911 was called the fire department had to rescue him by jumping the battery. And out of all the trained personal associated with 911 Emergency (who have tons of information at their fingertips), the entire Fire Department crew ( you know somebody had to be a car guy) and the concerned neighbors (from whom someone must have an OnStar account), nobody knew that the door release was located next to the seat? What’s that tell you.


  • TB

    Wow…glad he made it out safe…they should have a manual way to open these doors in case they lose power.

    • Mynameis Taylor

      there is a manual way to open the door. But the Owner wasn’t aware…and I think he was in the dark, because the car was the garage with no lights.

      • TheHake

        The garage door was open…

      • TB

        Ahh…OK I must have read that fast then…thank you!


    • NoMan2015

      There is. The article says as much.

      • TB

        Ahh…OK I must have read that fast then…

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    It’s a good thing the battery was dead when he wet himself. Heated seats ! Shocking.

  • Mynameis Taylor

    that’s what happens when you panic. sometimes you don’t ‘think clearly when you’re in a panic.

    • brn

      13 hours is a long panic.

  • TheHake

    I don’t believe one word of this. Sounds like someone trying to make a quick buck by suing.

  • Bobby Lee

    He obviously needs a Camry.

  • Merc1

    GM’s past junk strikes again.


  • FlameWater

    what an asshat

  • Jay

    Too cheap to break the window…

    • brn

      He says he tried. Given his age, it’s believable that he had difficulty. Given his IQ, he probably tired with the windshield.

      • Jay

        We all know when some people say try it doesn’t necessarily mean they tried very hard.

  • Paul

    Just manually unlock the door. Some Nissans wont automatically unlock the doors unless the key is taken out of the ignition. Thing is you can still manually move the switch by the door open handle to the unlocked position and it works fine then get out.

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    “even if he would have attempted to read the owner’s manual, it would have been too steamy inside the car for him to see properly.”


    The guy was an idiot through and through.

    1. You can read the damn manual, man. It isn’t too “steamy” inside of the car to read a manual. You’re not inside of the rainforest.
    2. You can break a window if you’re that desperate.
    3. After 14 hours, you’re bound to find that manual release.

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      having to urinate on his shoes.
      To be fair, it may have become the piss-soaked nightmare that he had always feared…

  • nastinupe

    Dude almost became a victim to natural selection.

  • TheBelltower

    And this guy is permitted to drive on public roads?


  • fabri99

    Terrifying situation aside, I think the worst thing here was not having a phone with you. You may not have read the manual of your car (though, who removes it from the car?), but if he had had a phone there he could have called anyone for help. I can stress this enough, especially with my grandparents: they grew up without it and don’t see it as necessary, but if anything were to happen a call might save your life.

  • Elmediterraneo

    American crappy cars 😂😂😂

  • Ronald Roman

    No, no…he should have read the owner’s manual BEFORE, not during the incident.
    And the neighbor called 911 instead of breaking the window? Those 5 minutes could have been the difference between life and death. But hey, if the neighbor is as dumb as the owner…Was that a subdivision for mentally challenged?

    • Stephen G

      Ain’t that America! It also explains the 2016 Elections.

  • Stephen G

    Break a car window with a pen? It’s difficult to do with a tire iron standing next to the car! I think you are tied with the old man in the smarts department.

    • ace_9

      You must have some kind of special tire iron that has a well defined pointed tip on it somewhere, if you are comparing it. And you do realize that the situation is a little bit different from the inside, right? 🙂 The glass is curved outward, so it is more difficult to break it from the outside. And I obviously did not mean just some plastic pen. It would have to be a hard metal one, preferably with quite sharp point or the filler would have to be fixed very well and then the tip of it can be used. Putting it to the glass and holding it there for example by shoe and then hitting the shoe by the palm of the hand should at least provide some chance. Or just attaching it to the shoe somehow and then hitting the glass with the shoe… I’m not saying it would surely work. It is just something worth trying instead of smashing window with bare hands.

      • Stephen G

        Myth Busters May 2016 An article about headrests breaking glass:
        “It states that the vehicle headrest is deliberately detachable so it can be used to break a vehicle window, which we found to be dubious at best, and that the vehicle window is easily broken from the inside. The way that tempered and laminated glasses are created is entirely for the opposite purpose. These glasses are intended to be exceptionally strong to hold the frame of the car stable, to keep the occupants inside, to withstand the concussive force of the passenger airbag. Nothing about the design of laminated or tempered glass is in any way easy to break.”

        • ace_9

          So what? At this point I’m done responding to your “clever” comments that are just indicating your complete ignorance of what I’ve wrote and they also show that you don’t know nothing about the topic. I don’t even think XLR has a detachable headrests. Go find out how to really break a car glass and stop writing me stupid comments about smashing car windows with various blunt objects…

          • Stephen G

            I was just responding to a topic that you had initiated. And I hope that you are never in a situation where you have to break a car window from the inside…because, contrary to your belief, it is not easy to do. Good luck to you.

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