For Immediate Release:
October 2, 2019

Janette Fennell, 484-278-4641, 415-336-9279,
Amber Rollins, 913-205-6973,
8 Hot Car Tragedies in the last 15 Days… ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! and grieving families call on automakers and Congress to act immediately 
Philadelphia, PA - As we move into October, hot car dangers continue to be a threat. In the last 15 days, 7 children and a man with special needs died in hot cars. Already this year, at least 48 children have died, making 2019 one of the deadliest years in history.

Automakers recently announced a non-binding, voluntary agreement to install a reminder alert to check the back seat in vehicles by 2025. Yet, they are unwilling to support The HOT CARS Act , a federal bill which directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue a rule that goes beyond the weak voluntary agreement. The legislation requires technology that both “detects” and “alerts” the driver of the presence of a child. This technology is already available, affordable and effective and should be required in all new cars. has pressed the auto associations directly as to why they will not support the HOT CARS Act of 2019 after agreeing to voluntarily install inadequate technology.

“Last year, rear view cameras became standard equipment on all newly-manufactured vehicles after a hard fought and successful battle by parents, safety groups and others with some automakers. Having a government standard similar to rules on other lifesaving technologies in our vehicles will ensure that there are minimum requirements and maximum benefits of effective technologies,” states Janette Fennell, president and founder of “Why is the auto industry stalling when they should be installing readily available and affordable technology that could prevent the unbelievable suffering of these innocent children? It is incomprehensible and unacceptable. Enough is enough. Now is the time to act”. she continued.

Automakers are under no obligation to comply with their unenforceable voluntary agreement. The industry has a long history of non-compliance with voluntary agreements. In a 2001 General Motors (GM) press release , the company promised, with a great deal of fanfare, to have a motion sensing detection system in their vehicles by 2004 to prevent hot car deaths. Fifteen years later, this promise remains unfulfilled

Over 50 families wrote to GM’s CEO Mary Barra on August 13  asking  why the technology was not installed as promised. They still are waiting for a response.
“We are sick and tired of broken promises. We need action from automakers and Congress before more children die,” said Dawn Peabody of Phoenix, AZ, a parent advocate who recently traveled to Washington, DC with a dozen other grieving families to advocate for technology that could have saved the life of her daughter, Maya.

At least 940 children have died in hot cars since 1990.

Affordable technology is available today that can detect the presence of an occupant (child, pet, etc.) inside a car. The detection feature is necessary to protect the nearly 30% of children who die in hot cars after getting into a vehicle on their own. Available systems engage a variety of alerts in the form of honking horns, flashing lights, dashboard warnings, or even text messages. This type of safety system could prevent hot car deaths and injuries.

The HOT CARS Act is supported by more than 50 diverse national organizations representing among others, pediatricians, nurses, law enforcement, auto safety and animal rights groups.

For more information about the HOT CARS Act and hot car tragedies visit:   is a national nonprofit dedicated to saving the lives of young children and pets in and around vehicles. The organization is devoted to eliminating vehicle-related risks that were previously unrecognized through data collection, research and analysis, public education and awareness programs, policy change, product redesign and supporting families to channel their grief into positive change. These everyday incidents include being run over, hot car deaths, carbon monoxide poisoning, car theft with children/animals inside, falls, knocking cars into gear, drowning inside vehicle, underage drivers, power window strangulation, trunk entrapment, etc.