Two children were caught up in a police chase when the car they were travelling in was allegedly stolen while they sat in the back seat.
The children were found unharmed when the vehicle was abandoned a short time later, and Surrey Police are now appealing for witnesses "as a matter of urgency".
Officers attempted to stop a car travelling on the clockwise carriageway of the M25 near junction nine in Leatherhead shortly before 10am on Tuesday.
The car failed to stop when requested by officers before coming to a halt on the junction 10 (Wisley) slip road, where the M25 joins the A3.
Members of the public reported that a number of people got out of the car and ran away. Police said it is believed some possibly ran across the A3.
One is believed to have stolen a Toyota vehicle, which was stopped on a nearby sliproad at the time, following a brief confrontation with the driver.
The two children in the back of the car when it was taken were found safe when police located the abandoned vehicle a short time later in the Whiteley Village area.
Surrey Police carried out an extensive search of the surrounding area and inquiries to find the people who fled from the first vehicle continue.
Detective Inspector Pete Howgate said: "This was clearly a concerning incident where the dangerous driving and subsequent actions of the vehicle occupants put the lives of other road users at risk.
"Fortunately no-one was injured during the incident but given that this took place in such a busy area where two major roads meet I feel certain that many people must have seen what happened and I need them to come forward as a matter of urgency.
"I can assure Surrey residents that we are doing everything we can to trace the individuals involved.
"The ongoing investigation is at a very early stage which is why it is so important that we hear from anyone who saw what happened or with any footage of the events unfolding so that we can clarify the circumstances surrounding the incidents."
People can call Surrey Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.