Nissan Versa Probe: NHTSA to Investigate 360,000 Vehicles

Jun 30, 2014 02:10 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a probe into approximately 360,000 2012-'14 Nissan Versa sedans and Nissan Versa Note hatchbacks after receiving a number of consumer complaints of pedal operation interference.

Two out of four complaints mentioned that the vehicles were rentals.

"Drivers describe incidents of interference between the tunnel carpet cover trim panel and the driver's right shoe when attempting to release the accelerator pedal, allegedly resulting in brief incidents of unwanted acceleration or delayed brake application," NHTSA said in a statement this weekend.

No reports of injuries, crashes, or fatalities have been confirmed by the NHTSA or Nissan yet.

"One complainant alleges that their foot was trapped by the trim panel such that they had to use their right hand to grab their leg and pull up to get their foot free, almost causing a crash during the event," NHTSA said in its summary of the investigation. "The trim panel in question is located next to the accelerator pedal and the lower corner is positioned such that it is near the right outer edge of the driver's shoe."

Another complaint claims that while attempting to take off their foot from the accelerator pedal to apply the brake, their shoe got caught by the trim panel which delayed braking ability "several times."

Nissan is "cooperating fully" with the agency's request for information concerning four customer complaints, according to Steve Yaeger, a Nissan spokesman, who spoke with Edmunds about the probe.

"Nissan is committed to a high level of customer safety, service and satisfaction and seeks to provide an outstanding ownership experience to Nissan Versa owners. We look forward to discussing this matter with the agency, and we will carefully review their request. As always, we will work with the regulators to fully answer their questions," Yaeger added.

Federal safety regulators have opened what is known as a "preliminary evaluation" into the matter.

This often means a recall could be coming within the next five months or so, but it does not guarantee that one will be announced by the automaker.

Any owners experiencing issues with their Nissan Versa vehicles are urged to bring them in to your local dealer to be inspected even if a recall hasn't been announced yet.

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