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Trunk Entrapment - Latest News

  • The Crazy (True) Story Of How Car Trunks Got Emergency Release Handles

    Thanks to her and her wild story, since 2002, all cars are required to have a glow-in-the-dark emergency release handle in the trunk. Janette Fennell’s story and her subsequent battle to ensure all cars are equipped with car trunk emergency release handles first appeared on Atlas Obscura, a website committed to telling extraordinary stories

  • Your car has a release handle in its trunk — here's why

    You may not know it, but every passenger car built after 2002 has a trunk release mechanism built into the trunk. It was mandated on September 1, 2001 by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after years of lobbying that gained a vocal advocate in a woman who’d been kidnapped: Janette Fennell, of San Francisco.

  • This regulatory 'reform' could roll back car safety, cost American lives

    My story had a happy ending, but it could have turned out differently. I was surprised that no one tracked statistics, so I gathered my own. I found more than 1,000 victims of trunk entrapment over several decades, including more than 300 deaths and dozens of children who entered the trunk innocently, became trapped and died. Just as cases of children suffocating in refrigerators in the 1950s led to new safety standards, trunk entrapment called out for a solution. The answer was simple: a small, two-inch glow-in-the-dark plastic internal trunk release. If there had been a release in my trunk, we could have jumped out at any stop light and fled to safety.

  • Kidnap Victim Describes Escape from Trunk of Moving Car made sure that all vehicles 2002 & newer have a trunk release! Thank goodness it saved this woman's life!


    Almost 20 years ago, Fennell and her husband Greig were kidnapped from their garage, in the trunk of their own car.

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