NHTSA Investigates Reports of Sudden Braking in Nissans With ABS

At least 800 motorists reported defects in their Nissan vehicles, stating that the vehicles suddenly slammed on their brakes while running at a considerable speed. Investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are already looking into the possible defect. The said defect has been alleged to cause 14 accidents that injured at least five people in the U.S. alone.

The system thought to be at fault is the vehicles’ automatic emergency braking technology. This system is installed in more than 553,000 units of the 2017 to 2018 Nissan Rogue models. Nissan’s Rogue and Rogue Sport were among the best-selling cars in the U.S.

Automatic emergency braking systems (ABS) are designed to automatically stop the car when it detects a collision against an object, person, or anything else on the road. While it is not meant to specifically prevent collision, it aims to reduce impact.

The ABS equipped in the Nissan vehicles in question seems to detect objects that do not exist, activating it for no apparent reason. One motorist reported that the incident almost got him in an accident when the unnecessary braking slowed down his vehicle, causing cars behind him to almost crash into his.
Despite the complaints, Nissan is yet to issue a safety recall for its Rogue models. Dealers have been instructed to reflash ECUs, but mandatory fixes have not been announced as of this writing.

What You Should Do If Your Faulty or Defective Vehicle Gets You in an Accident?

The problem, as it seems, is not exclusive to Nissan’s vehicles. Because the technology is fairly new, it leaves a lot of room for improvement. However, as a consumer and motorist, you should know what to do in case you get in an auto accident caused by a damage or fault in your car.

If you got in a car accident that you believe may have been due to a fault in your vehicle, take the following steps:

  • Check whether a recall has been issued for your vehicle model.

Often, when manufacturers and the governing agencies discover design or manufacture defect in an automobile, a recall notice is issued. The recall may come from either the manufacturer or the NHTSA. When there is a recall issue, owners can take their car to a dealership. Depending on the extent of the issue, owners may be entitled to a free replacement or repair of the defective parts or systems.

Moreover, when a recall notice is issued, dealerships are generally required to notify their customers. Unfortunately, some owners do not get such notification. In this case, you may check with the NHTSA or directly coordinate with the manufacturer.

While most car dealerships perform the necessary repairs and replacements quickly, some may not. When the latter happens, you can complain directly to the manufacturer or NHTSA.

  • Check whether your car is a “lemon”.

Unfortunately, there are cars that do not work as designed regardless of parts repairs and replacements. These vehicles are termed “lemons”. A lemon car is one that has irreversible defects that may have been present even before the owner got it.

Once you find out that your vehicle is a lemon, you are entitled to a replacement or refund. If your dealer refuses to honor your rights, seek legal assistance.

  • Consider filing a product liability suit.

If you got in an accident that you believe is caused by a defect in your vehicle, you have the option to file a product liability suit. In this case, you will need the assistance of an experienced defective product lawyer who can help you prove liability.

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