The Nissan Versa and Versa Note may have a carpeting problem that could make the little cars risky to drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching a preliminary evaluation into the 2012-2014 model year versions of the Versa, Versa Sedan and Versa Note, affecting an estimated 360,000 vehicle. In these vehicles, it's possible that the driver's foot could be caught where the carpet meets a trim panel near the accelerator. The regulator has four reported instances of the issue, but it's still collecting data from Nissan about any further cases.

According to the complaints, the tunnel carpet cover trim panel can possibly snag the drivers' right shoe where it meets the carpet, and can either keep their foot on the accelerator or prevent moving it to the brake pedal. In one case, the problem was bad enough that the driver had to free his foot using his hand, while driving. In two of the four reported cases, the vehicles were rental cars.

This is actually the second ongoing preliminary evaluation for some of these models. In late May, NHTSA started looking into the 2013-2014 Versa and 2014 Versa Note for long brake pedal travel.

Nissan sent a prepared statement to Autoblog saying that it's "cooperating fully with the Agency's request." You can read the full text below. Also, Scroll down to read the entire NHTSA preliminary evaluation document or download it as a PDF to see two images of the alleged flaw, here.
Show full PR text
ODI RESUME
Investigation: PE 14-018
Date Opened: 06/24/2014
Investigator: Stephen Mchenry
Reviewer: Jeff Quandt
Approver: Frank Borris
Subject: Pedal Operation Interference

MANUFACTURER & PRODUCT INFORMATION
Manufacturer: Nissan North America, Inc.
Products: MY 2012-2014 Nissan Versa and Versa Note
Population: 360,000 (Estimated)
Problem Description: 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.

FAILURE REPORT SUMMARY

ODI

Manufacturer

Total

Complaints:

4

TBD

TBD

Crashes/Fires:

0

TBD

TBD

Injury Incidents:

0

TBD

TBD

Number of Injuries:

0

TBD

TBD

Fatality Incidents:

0

TBD

TBD

Number of Fatalities:

0

TBD

TBD


ACTION / SUMMARY INFORMATION

Action: A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened.
Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received four complaints alleging that the tunnel carpet cover trim panel on Model Year (MY) 2012 through 2014 Nissan Versa, Versa Sedan and Versa Note vehicles has trapped the edge of the driver's shoe. The alleged condition interfered with the driver's ability to reduce the rate of acceleration as desired and also interfered with the driver's ability to apply the brakes when needed.

One complainant, VOQ 10597004, 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. The trim panel in question (Figure 1) 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. The complainant supplied a photograph (Figure 2) showing how the edge of the panel wedged itself in the driver's shoe. Complainant 10573057 alleged that when attempting to remove their foot from the accelerator pedal to apply the brake, their shoe was caught by the trim panel which delayed braking ability several times. Two of the four complainants note that the vehicles were rental cars.

A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to asses the scope, frequency and safety-related consequence of the alleged defect.

The VOQs associated with this investigation are: 10597004, 10573057, 10503811, and 10498000. A fifth VOQ (10578373) is from a foreign country and is not counted in this resume.


Nissan Statement

Nissan received a request for information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concerning four customer complaints on MY2012-2014 Versa vehicles. We are cooperating fully with the Agency's request.

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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      Collin
      • 5 Months Ago
      At least its not accelerating anywhere fast.
      Zeta
      • 5 Months Ago
      People must really hate getting these as rental cars.
      Larry Litmanen
      • 5 Months Ago
      Once again i think having self driving cars would address many of these recalls. I think automakes will be basically forced to make cars self driving to avoid giving a human any control and a possibility of screwing up.
      mrobvious
      • 5 Months Ago
      sounds like it is a pedal placement problem or a trim panel problem NOT a carpet problem...
        futurecars
        • 5 Months Ago
        @mrobvious
        sound like that to me too or it could be the type of shoe that was wear.
        Cruising
        • 5 Months Ago
        @mrobvious
        It's just people lifting up their foot to high when they move from the gas pedal to the brake.
      thatguy88
      • 5 Months Ago
      Well, the Versa is about as disposable a car you can buy nowadays, so I guess no major harm is done here... other than those have been harmed by the carpet/pedal issue... or those who actually bought it.
      loudog
      • 5 Months Ago
      You mean a Versa can accelerate even intentionally? (It's on my 'rented car' list of, "Hell no, I'll take a cab.")
      Cruising
      • 5 Months Ago
      How does your shoe get caught on the trim piece unless your foot is fully on the pedal including the heel, who drives like that?
      Insaneboy
      • 5 Months Ago
      Huh, Two weeks ago I had a '13 versa sedan as a rental. My foot got slightly caught, holding the accelerator for just a hair longer than I wanted. Happened a few times over the week I had it, didn't think much of it as it never felt like it was a dangerous situation... Just figured it was the shoes I was wearing at the time.
      J W
      • 5 Months Ago
      A run away Versa seems funny to me.