An Arizona toddler was trapped in a hot Tesla when the vehicle’s battery died without warning, leaving her helpless grandmother with no other option than to call 911.

Renee Sanchez said the recent situation could have been “deadly” when her 20-month-old granddaughter got stuck in her car, AZFamily reported. 

The Scottsdale woman loaded the little girl into her car seat for a trip to the Phoenix Zoo, shut the back door, and went around to the front. When she tried to open the driver’s door, it wouldn’t budge. 

“My car was dead,” Sanchez told the outlet. “I could not get in. My phone key wouldn’t open it. My card key wouldn’t open it.”

The Tesla service department confirmed that Sanchez did not receive any alerts that her car battery was about to die, even though the vehicles are supposed to give the driver three warnings before the battery needs to be recharged. 

“When that battery goes, you’re dead in the water,” she said.

There’s a hidden latch on the driver’s side armrest to manually unlock the door if the battery dies, but that only works if you’re already inside the vehicle. According to AZFamily, there is a little-known way for Tesla owners to unlock their cars if they’re stuck outside, “but it’s a complicated series of time-consuming steps involving wires and battery chargers.”

Even many first responders don’t know how to crack the vehicles open when they’re dead, which became evident when Scottsdale firefighters arrived at the scene. 

“They need to educate the first responders because they had no idea,” Sanchez said. “They were as much in the dark as I was.”

“The first thing they said was, ‘Uggh, it’s a Tesla. We can’t get in these cars,’” she recalled. “And I said, ‘I don’t care if you have to cut my car in half. Just get her out.’”

With her granddaughter sitting alone inside the car in the hot Arizona weather, Sanchez insisted that firefighters break the car’s window to get her out. The window was taped over so glass wouldn’t rain down on the little girl. 

“She was OK for the first few minutes,” she told the outlet. “But as soon as the firemen came and all the commotion started and the windows getting broken into, she started crying because she was scared.”

A firefighter was finally able to rescue the little girl, and gave her a fire hat to distract her. 

“After I knew she was safe, then the anger,” Sanchez said. “Then, all the thoughts of, oh my God, this could have been so much worse.”

While Sanchez has been a big fan of Teslas, this occurrence has made her question how safe they really are. 

“I give Tesla props. When it works, it’s great. But when it doesn’t, it can be deadly,” she added.

Tesla owner Elon Musk has slashed the company’s global workforce by more than 14 percent since the beginning of 2024, according to a new CNBC report.

According to an internal email distribution list dated June 17, the company now has approximately 121,000 employees, including temporary workers — down from 140,473 employees reported at the end of 2022.