Katrina McCaig, 41 and her autistic daughter, Amy Rogan, 14, were on their way back home to Middlesbrough from Peterlee when their car started smoking and the steering became heavy as they were driving through Blackhall Colliery.
Katrina pulled into a lay-by, contacted the RAC at 1.30pm and said she was given an initial waiting time of two hours.
But two hours later she was still waiting and added: "I called them back up and said it’s been over two hours, I’ve got a disabled child on board and we need recovering."
Katrina was then told the job would be “escalated” and that she would be contacted in 45 minutes.
After an hour wait and no phone call, she rang up again to find out the job had not been escalated and was given a time of 6.34 pm for a recovery team to get to her.
Katrina said: "In the end, I had to get my friend to pick me and my daughter up and leave the car there.
"Nobody got in touch with me until seven o’clock the next morning.
"I said ‘I broke down yesterday, the car’s still sitting there’”
"I got it recovered myself from Blackhall.”
The RAC has apologised “for letting Katrina and her daughter down on this occasion” and refunded the cost of her policy.
Katrina said she and Amy had to stay inside the car the entire time before their friend arrived.
She said: "It was horrible. By the end of the day, she had to go to bed ill, she had a headache and she was sick, because it wasn’t a cool day, it was a hot day as well.”
The RAC spokesperson said: “We’re very sorry for letting Katrina and her daughter down on this occasion and we’ve refunded the cost of her policy.
"While we arranged for her car to be recovered the next day, we didn’t inform her of this clearly enough.
"Her experience was not typical of the high standard of service we provide to thousands of drivers every day.”