WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has upgraded an investigation into an estimated 360,000 2013-'15 Nissan Versa sedans and Nissan Versa Note hatchbacks following consumer complaints of pedal operation interference.
NHTSA said it is looking into complaints alleging that the plastic tunnel carpet cover trim panel has interfered with the "driver's ability to promptly release the accelerator pedal and transition to the brake pedal.
"This may result in delayed brake application or brief incidents of unwanted acceleration."
Federal safety regulators opened an investigation into the 2012-'14 Versa sedan and Versa Note cars last June. In early April, NHTSA upgraded the probe to an "engineering analysis," which sometimes precedes a vehicle recall.
The 2015 Versa sedan and Note vehicles have been added to the original investigation. The 2012 Versa models now have been excluded from the probe because they do not use the same trim panel design.
NHTSA said it has reviewed 24 complaints regarding pedal operation interference in the vehicles. One complaint alleges that the issue led to a crash and minor injuries.
The upgraded probe will look into the scope, frequency and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.
"Nissan is cooperating fully to answer the agency's questions," wrote Nissan spokesman Steve Yaeger in response to a query from Edmunds.
Edmunds says: These cars have not been recalled at this point. There is no need for owners to take any action. But if you have an immediate concern, it's best to contact your dealer.