General Motors Wins PETA Award for Preventing Kids and Dogs From Being Left in Hot Cars

Revolutionary 'Rear Seat Reminder' Technology Helps Protect Vulnerable Passengers From Dangerous Heatstroke

For Immediate Release:
August 15, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Detroit – PETA’s Innovator for Animals Award is on its way to automobile giant General Motors for the company’s revolutionary new “Rear Seat Reminder” technology that prevents children and dogs from being accidentally left in hot cars—where they can quickly die of heatstroke. The innovative feature, available on the 2017 GMC Acadia, works by monitoring rear doors and then emitting a tone and displaying a message in the dash that says, “Rear Seat Reminder / Look in Rear Seat.” PETA’s award comes after at least 26 children and 40 dogs reportedly died this summer alone after being left inside sweltering vehicles.

“General Motors is truly driving the industry forward with this game-changing technology that could make the tragic deaths of children and dogs in hot cars a thing of the past,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA reminds all drivers to go the extra mile to protect the most vulnerable among us from dangerous heatstroke, which can kill in mere minutes.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that on a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to well over 100 degrees in minutes, even with the windows slightly open. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, his or her body temperature can increase three to five times faster than an adult’s, and because dogs can cool themselves only by panting, they can suffer from heatstroke in just 15 minutes, resulting in brain damage or death.

Since 1998, there have been nearly 700 documented cases in which children died in hot cars, and PETA receives numerous reports each year about panicked animals who have suffered and died in agony inside vehicles during warm weather.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind