Two children were in the back of a Toyota allegedly stolen during a police chase.
Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses "as a matter of urgency" following the incident in which a vehicle failed to stop on the M25 between Leatherhead and Wisley and another vehicle was then stolen.
The two young passengers were both still in the car and were unharmed when the vehicle was found abandoned a short time later.
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 then ran from the vehicle.
Police said it is believed people ran from the scene and possibly across the A3.
One person is believed to have run to a nearby slip road and stolen a Toyota vehicle, which was stopped at the time, following a brief confrontation with the driver.
There were two children in the back at the time it was taken, and it was found abandoned by officers a short time later in the Whiteley Village area.
The children were both still in the car and unharmed.
Surrey Police carried out an extensive search of the surrounding area and inquiries to find the people who fled from the 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.