Automakers won't retrofit trunks after kids die in cars

July 12, 2011 6:41:06 PM PDT
At least three children have died in the last month after getting trapped in the trunk of their family's car, but automakers appear reluctant to retrofit their cars with safety devices that already exist.

Just last week, an 8-year-old boy in Oklahoma got stuck while playing in the trunk of his parent's 1998 Chevy Cavalier and died in the heat. Last month, two brothers in Indiana also died inside the trunk of their mother's 2000 Chevy Malibu.

Jenny Fennel of Kids and Cars has pushed hard to get safety releases inside those trunks. ABC's Elizabeth Leamy demonstrates how the releases work. All cars built since 2002 have them. Jenny says no one has ever died in the trunk of a car with a safety release.

"Those children, I feel very certain, would be alive today if there had been a trunk release in that vehicle," said Fennel.

In a statement, GM says it has worked to alert parents and caregivers to the dangers of leaving children unattended in or around vehicles. The company has no plans for a recall.

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