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NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2012 Nissan Versa

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2012 Nissan Versa, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: SRS Warning Light Illumination

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE12023

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: August 15, 2012
    • Date Closed: January 22, 2013
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened this investigation after receiving Nissan early warning reports (EWR) concerning supplemental restraint system (SRS) light illumination on model year (MY) 2012 Nissan Versa vehicles.Information in the reports suggested that the SRS spiral cable harness from the spiral cassette to the driver-s air bag module became pinched within the steering wheel assembly during installation.The pinching condition was apparently causing a short to ground condition. As reported by Nissan, the shorts were the result of isolated operator errors, specifically errors in the way the harness was routed in the steering wheel area.Nissan advised that a production countermeasure was implemented on December 10, 2011 in order to reduce misrouting the spiral cable harness.If an electrical short does occur, the red air bag warning light is designed to continuously flash to alert the driver.However, a shorted harness may prevent the air bag from deploying in a frontal collision.The opening resume originally identified the subject vehicle population as all 2012 Nissan Versa vehicles. It was noted by Nissan that the MY 2012 Versa Sedan and MY 2012 Versa Hatchback vehicles were built on different platforms and varied significantly in design, specifically in that they are equipped with different steering column and air bag module components.Accordingly, the subject vehicle population for analysis was limited to 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan models.Through analysis of the data Nissan provided, ODI determined that 13 manufacturer reports and 39 warranty claims submitted were potentially a result of pinched and/or shorted spiral cable assemblies. These reports occurred prior to the assembly process change on December 10, 2011.ODI notes that an additional six warranty claims occurred after the process change, but this population had a significantly lower rate of failure than those occurring beforehand.Therefore the subject vehicle population shown above covers sedan vehicles built from the start of production through December 9, 2011.ODI-s analysis indicated that this condition typically occurred early in the life of the vehicle with 40% occurring prior to vehicle sale or delivery, and 69% with less than 2 months in service.When compared to ODI investigations involving similar air bag concerns, this investigation has a low rate of failure.ODI has not yet received any related consumer complaints and no injuries or crashes have been reported that relate to the alleged problem. Therefore, a safety-related defect has not been identified at this time and further use of agency resources does not appear to be warranted.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.The agency will monitor this issue and reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Inadvertent Curtain and Seat Air Bag

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE16013

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Side/Window

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigations opened this Preliminary Evaluation to investigate complaints alleging an inadvertent deployment of side air bags on model year 2012 Nissan Versa vehicles.The three complaints indicate the driver or passenger curtain and seat mounted air bags deployed when the front door on the same (affected) side was shut.According to Nissan, the defect identified involved the dissimilarity of the metals used in the side air bag sensor electrical connectors, gold versus tin materials.This combination may lead to fretting and oxidation on the connector pins of the Satellite Sensor and the harness which connects it to the Airbag Control Unit (ACU).Fretting and oxidation increases the likelihood of a momentary loss of connectivity, and thus communication from the sensor to the ACU.When communication is lost between the side impact sensor and the ACU, the system is designed to enter a -backup state- mode of operation.The backup state allows the curtain and seat-mounted side air bags to deploy should the communication be accidentally lost during the course of a crash event. In this mode, the -safing path- is used in the ACU algorithm for a deployment decision.By design, the safing path has a lower threshold for deployment compared to the normal state which requires both safing and trigger path thresholds to be met.Consequently, if this momentary communication loss occurs when the door is closed forcefully, it may cause the curtain and seat-mounted side air bag, as well as the seat belt pretensioner to deploy inadvertently.On March, 6, 2017, Nissan North America, Inc, submitted a Defect Information Report to NHTSA establishing that it will address this issue.See recall action 17V-144 for further details; remedy details and timing are to be determined.Accordingly, the investigation is closed.The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at under the following ID numbers: 10743601, 10732337, 10779675

  3. INVESTIGATION: Autoliv Air Bag Propellant Mixture

    NHTSA Equipment Query #EQ12002

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: February 14, 2012
    • Date Closed: May 08, 2012
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Air Bags:Side/Window

    Summary: The summary for this investigation, labeled "EQ12-002 Autoliv Closing Resume", can be found attached separately to this resume.This EQ is closed.

  4. INVESTIGATION: Pedal Operation Interference

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14018

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: June 24, 2014
    • Date Closed: April 27, 2015
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Service Brakes
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Pedals And Linkages
    Vehicle Speed Control:Accelerator Pedal

    Summary: On June 24, 2014, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-018 to investigate allegations that the tunnel carpet cover trim panel on model year (MY) 2012 through 2014 Nissan Versa, Versa Sedan and Versa Note vehicles has, in certain situations, 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.At the opening of PE14-018, ODI had identified one complaint, VOQ 10597004, alleging that the driver's foot became caught by the subject trim panel to the extent that the driver decided that it was necessary to pull on their leg to get the foot free of the interference, almost causing a crash. 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.An additional 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. During the investigation ODI received a VOQ, 10614957, that alleged that the driver's foot was interfered with by the trim panel, delaying the driver's ability to apply the brakes, resulting in a crash and minor injuries to the driver.In addition, during PE14-018, ODI has received VOQs alleging that the HVAC relay actuator/duct, (Figures 3 and 4) can also interfere with the driver's ability to react quickly to apply the brakes, which has been added to the scope of Engineering Analysis EA15-003. MY 2015 Versa Sedan and Note vehicles have been added to EA15-003 as they are believed to have the same panel design and actuator/duct placement as the subject vehicles.MY 2012 vehicles were found to be of a different design and not included in the scope of EA15-003.This Preliminary Evaluation PE14-018 is hereby closed and upgraded to Engineering Analysis EA15-003.

  5. INVESTIGATION: Front Coil Spring Fracture

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE15019

    Component(s): Suspension:Front:Springs:Coil Springs

    Summary: In a letter dated September 10,2015, Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a safety defect that may result in coil spring fracture in approximately 218,019 model year (MY) 2007 through 2012 Nissan Versa vehiclesproduced from May 8, 2006 through November12, 2012 and originally sold or ever registered in the following 22 states and the District of Columbia: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia and Wisconsin (NHTSA Recall 15V-573).Nissan indicated that the recalled vehicles may contain front coil springs that received inadequate phosphorous coating, have low residual stress, or a combination of both.Surface imperfections resulting from coil-to-coil contact when the spring is compressed may lead to crack initiation.Exposure of the surface imperfections to road salts, in regions with heavy use of road salts for snow and ice control, may promote crack propagation in the spring that could result in spring fracture.If the coil spring fractures it may puncture the front tire and possibly the brake line while driving, which may increase the risk of a vehicle crash.ODI's analysis of complaints it has received from the public (VOQ's) and Nissan complaint data submitted in response to the information request letter for PE15-019 identified a total of 468 non-duplicative reports alleging coil spring fractures in the subject vehicles, including 142 VOQ's and 367 Nissan complaints (41 of the incidents reported to ODI were also reported to Nissan).While the recall region accounts for approximately 43 percent of vehicle sales, the analysis found that 94 percent of the complaints involved vehicles sold or operated in those states.Approximately 27 percent of the VOQ's reporting coil spring failures in the recalled states indicated that the failure resulted in a punctured tire.ODI also identified one complaint that alleged brake line damage from a failed spring.Nissan's recall will replace both coil springs free of charge.Based on Nissan's safety recall, this investigation is closed.The 142 VOQ's referenced in this resume are: 10236143, 10405369, 10443746, 10452956, 10491553, 10497737, 10503060, 10504557, 10512390, 10512975, 10514582, 10516024, 10516085, 10521216, 10522261, 10526334, 10533856, 10537404, 10537407, 10548678, 10552124, 10559853, 10562485, 10565283, 10572591, 10578519, 10583059, 10583154, 10583496, 10583673, 10584979, 10585327, 10585377, 10585751, 10586397, 10586444, 10587798, 10588347, 10588427, 10592366, 10592498, 10592780, 10593373, 10593621, 10595215, 10596802, 10598404, 10598877, 10606859, 10606998, 10610082, 10618059, 10640845, 10644269, 10645075, 10649515, 10653189, 10659632, 10662158, 10663102, 10667071, 10667845, 10669949, 10670829, 10671894, 10676522, 10680544, 10680740, 10682397, 10691419, 10692629, 10693347, 10694156, 10694420, 10701250, 10702765, 10703126, 10704658, 10705882, 10706351, 10711805, 10712045, 10712922, 10714243, 10715041, 10715175, 10716106, 10717254, 10717320, 10717403, 10717412, 10717489, 10717563, 10720958, 10721782, 10721824, 10722113, 10722459, 10722915, 10723873, 10723972, 10723973, 10724158, 10724899, 10725002, 10725328, 10725377, 10725542, 10726251, 10726736, 10726741, 10730138, 10730154, 10730342, 10731050, 10731692, 10731799, 10731901, 10732054, 10732062, 10733059, 10733144, 10733309, 10733349, 10733607, 10733781, 10733854, 10735347, 10735353, 10735606, 10736199, 10736227, 10743474, 10743634, 10743790, 10744701, 10745272, 10745646, 10745661, 10747233, 10747258, 10749978

  6. INVESTIGATION: Pedal Operation Interference

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA15003

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Pedals And Linkages
    Vehicle Speed Control:Accelerator Pedal

    Summary: On August 11, 2015, Nissan North America, Inc., submitted a Defect Information Report (DIR) describing a condition that may impede the driver's ability to transition quickly and smoothly from the accelerator pedal to the brake pedal in certain model year (MY) 2012 through 2015 Nissan Versa Sedans and MY 2014 through 2015 Nissan Versa Note vehicles (NHTSA Recall No. 15V-507).According to Nissan's DIR, in certain circumstances related to driver foot position and shoe type, the right edge of the driver-s shoe may catch the edge of the center console lower trim panel.Nissan indicated that "this condition could cause a slight delay in the smooth transition between the accelerator pedal and the brake pedal which may increase the braking distance; therefore increasing the risk of a crash."Nissan's recall instructs dealers to trim the console panel so that the leading edge is at a greater distance from the driver-s foot.Nissan had previously issued a service campaign (Nissan Campaign ID #P5308; TSB #NTB15-033) on April 16, 2015, to provide the remedy for the same set of vehicles before deciding to change the program to a safety recall.Of the approximately 421,305 vehicles covered by recall 15V-507, approximately 122,558 have already been repaired under the service campaign. ODI's investigation also examined allegations that an HVAC duct in the driver's footwell area may interfere with the driver's right foot in certain circumstances.ODI's analysis of all complaints related to foot obstructions in the subject vehicles identified 45 complaints, 7 crashes and 1 minor soft tissue injury.Thirty-five (35) of the complaints, all 7 crashes and the only injury were caused by the trim panel condition which is the subject of the recall.ODI will continue to monitor complaints related to the HVAC duct condition.This investigation is closed based on Nissan's recall.The VOQs associated with the closing of this investigation are: 10725339, 10723544, 10711794, 10691631, 10649259, 10640644, 10629161, 10614957, 10610356, 10606832, 10606766, 10606670, 10597004, 10573057, 10503811, and 10498000.

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