Federal safety regulators continue to pressure automakers as they announced two separate investigations involving more than 600,000 Nissan Versas and Dodge Rams.
In the case of the Versa, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reviewing complaints that an interior trim panel is causing unintended acceleration. The query impacts 360,000 Versa, Versa sedans and Versa Notes from 2012 to 2014.
According to the four complaints, the trim piece catches the edge of a driver’s shoe, trapping the foot and interfering with the ability to use the brakes. Nissan officials said the maker will cooperate with the investigation.
Unintended acceleration issues tend to get NHTSA’s attention. The agency spent years investigating millions of Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles for a similar problem. Ultimately, the maker recalled millions of vehicles after four people were killed in crashes linked to floor mats trapping accelerator pedals causing the vehicles to accelerate unintentionally.
(Six new recalls by General Motors covers 7.6 million vehicles. For more, Click Here.)
Separately, investigators are looking into complaints on 260,000 Ram 1500 trucks from model year 2005. The agency has received 15 complaints about rear axles that can lock up on the trucks put the vehicle into a spin.
(Click Here for details on U.S. automakers setting a new recall record in six months.)
According to the complaints, it has happened to seven drivers traveling at speeds in excess of 50 mph. Two of those went into a spin, but not crashes or injuries have been reported. Loose pinion nuts are suspected to have caused the problem, the government agency said.
(To see an op-ed assessing Detroit’s brand addiction, Click Here.)
Both are at the investigation stage, but could be elevated to recalls based on the results of the queries. The investigations come as U.S. automakers set a new single-year record for recalls today with nearly 39 million recalls. GM’s recall of 7.6 million vehicles in six actions today drove the industry past the previous record of 33.01 million.