Locked in car without a key, cannot open doors or windows, is this fault or bad design?

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garry16

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2023
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4
Location
Somerset
Car
B180 SE Executive 2017
Hi

I was accidentally locked inside our B180 SE Executive 2017. The interior handles would not open the doors. The unlock buttons made the knobs go up and down but did not actually unlock the doors. The windows would not open either. Eventually the alarm went off and the keyholder returned to let me out but I am concerned that this would be a serious safety issue in hot weather especially as we often have no phone signal around here, and even more so if a child was accidentally locked in.

I have Googled extensively and contacted Mercedes customer services but I am unable to find a straight answer about where this is a bad design flaw or a fault with our particular car. We live far from any dealer. Could someone please test and let me know if they can replicate this? I did find an article by the RAC warning that this is a deliberate anti-theft feature on European cars but I find that hard to believe. It may be called deadlock or safelock, but you would think the Mercedes dealers and customer services would know about it if it was intentional.
 
Welcome.

Sorry to hear this.

I don't know the answer to your question unfortunately, but just to say that some cars have a manual emergency lid/hatch release lever inside the boot, it's worth trying to get to it by folding the rear seats - if someone reading this ever find themselves in a similar situation.
 
Has the car been modified?
I haven't experience an MB where pulling the door lever doesn't open it.
 
Has the car been modified?
I haven't experience an MB where pulling the door lever doesn't open it.

But did you try this when the car was locked from outside using the fob?
 
Hi , I can fully understand your concerns regarding being locked in your car accidentally but could you explain how this happened in the first place.

I have a Mercedes C207 that Mercedes make it very clear about being locked in the car using using the electronic key fob in certain circumstances !

My car locks automatically when I drive above 20 mph but I have an override button on the driver's door.

If you have the hand book to hand could I suggest have a look at it because with my car I can programme the sequences of operations of key functions.I am sorry could be on no more help.

I notice you live in Somerset that is covered by Mercedes South West and have always been helpful when I make contact with them to ask any questions.
 
I don't know the answer to your question unfortunately, but just to say that some cars have a manual emergency lid/hatch release lever inside the boot, it's worth trying to get to it by folding the rear seats - if someone reading this ever find themselves in a similar situation.

For what it's worth. Interior boot release handles have been mandatory in major markets for two decades.

But, boot areas can't always be accessed from the passenger compartment in saloons or coupes.

(It was a kidnap / bad guys thing).
 
Would you not need the key with you to unlock the car from inside, or does this only apply to keyless go models. On the Cl auto locking can be turned off by Comand.
 
I did find an article by the RAC warning that this is a deliberate anti-theft feature on European cars but I find that hard to believe. It may be called deadlock or safelock

The feature prevents people smashing a window and getting in the car by pulling the door handle. My 15 year old run about has this feature, it's nothing new.

Without sounding rude - what exactly do you hope to get from MB? I'm not sure they are going to enact a UK wide recall of their vehicles in case someone gets accidentally locked in the car with the fob.

This exact situation is described here (albeit from the GLE notes)


Given the page has notes for the UK market specifically on that page - if you're really that concerned - you can probably get the deadlock feature turned off by coding it out - a dealership probably won't be able to assist with this, but there are loads of firms who may be able to.

Failing that - get a safety hammer and put it in the car.
 
Another point. If you're in the BACK of a car, is common for REAR internal door handles to be child-proofed, so that kids can't open the rear door.

So from the back you would need to lean forward to open the FRONT doorhandles of the car to get out of a car.

Might seem obvious, but it's not obvious to everyone.
 
Thank you for the replies so far. There are no modifications, and I was accidentally locked in. The car was locked using the keyfob from outside. I don't know if I believe the RAC article as that would seem to be a very dangerous feature and I can't find reference to it anywhere else and Mercedes own customer service don't know anything about it. The local dealer suggests the car is faulty and to book it in but we live far from them so it would be a huge hassle (we only just had annual service done). I'm hoping someone here will know definitively if this is a fault or a feature or if someone can test it themselves to confirm (and if testing note that results may possibly vary depending on if it was single or double pressed to lock).
 
I thought it was a thing that Mercedes refused to fit deadlocks as they considered them dangerous? It certainly used to be the case - a quick Google finds the matter discussed.

I think pretty well any other car would be deadlocked though - on some you have to press the fob twice (we had a Honda like that) to deadlock and on others pressing a second time disables the deadlocks.

Funnily enough there was a thread on a SEAT Ateca (our daughter has one so I keep an eye on it) forum the other day from a guy who'd done the same thing - left his wife in the car wheil he went to get something and without thinking locked the car as he walked away and she couldn't get out.
 
Another point. If you're in the BACK of a car, is common for REAR internal door handles to be child-proofed, so that kids can't open the rear door.

So from the back you would need to lean forward to open the FRONT doorhandles of the car to get out of a car.

Might seem obvious, but it's not obvious to everyone.
All doors were locked!
 
Thank you for what seems to be a definitive answer. It seems no one who works at Mercedes has read the manual either! Very shocked to see that this is by design!!
It’s a reflection of how scary some bits of the world are. I lived in Joburg for a while and couldn’t believe how insanely routine it was for your car to be broken into just in the hope of finding something in the boot.
 
Come to think of it... on my Hyundai, if I sit in the car and lock it with the fob while I'm still inside, then I can't open the doors using the door handles. I have to unlock the car using the fob first, in order to be able to get out. It actually happened to me when the car was new and I was trying to reset the infotainment system by locking the car - I realised I couldn't get out.

I don't disagree that it can be unsafe in certain situations, but just to say that apparently it's not only MB that have it set up in this way.
 
Just reading this thread to my wife and got the ‘I know that, it’s happened to me before when you’ve left me in the car and I can’t get out or open the window’.
I must admit that if she does wait in the car while I go to collect something I usually leave the drivers door unlatched and open an inch or so to stop it auto locking.
 
What this amounts to is that the cars electronics override the mechanical door locks. This incident was an accidental locking of the car but it's not exactly unheard of for complex electronic systems to fail and that could conceivably cause the death of the occupants in several different scenarios e.g heat, cold, fire or accident where no help was at hand. I cannot think of any other situation where this possibility of being accidently trapped would be permitted or where electronics would be allowed to override a manual safety feature. It like securing fire escape doors electronically with no emergency means of manually opening them. That would simply not be permitted under safety regulations.

The truth is people have died because of this feature, here's one example but a a simple internet search will find others.

No Escape: California Family Sues BMW After Teen Dies in Locked Car
 
Deadlocks have been a thing for at least 20 years. Perhaps highlights why it's a good idea to read the manual...
 

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