— The 2012 Nissan Versa is the focus in a wrongful death lawsuit filed after the death of California woman and injuries to four others. The family of the 49-year-old killed in the accident filed the lawsuit against Nissan alleging the trim panel on the center console caused the driver's foot to get stuck on the gas pedal.
The crash occurred on Sonoma Boulevard in Vallejo when the 65-year-old driver of a 2012 Nissan Versa left the road and struck five people. One person was killed and others were seriously injured.
Initial reports indicated the driver slumped over the wheel before he hit the sidewalk, but the lawsuit alleges the reports were wrong. Although marijuana was found in the car, the lawsuit says a design defect in the 2012-2015 Nissan Versa caused the driver's foot to get stuck on the gas pedal.
The suit also claims the layout and lack of clearance in the area of the gas pedal can cause problems with a driver removing their foot from the pedal.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation in June 2014 after reports that plastic trim near the gas pedals was causing problems in model year 2012-2014 Nissan Versa, Versa Sedan and Versa Note vehicles. Nissan Versa owners complained the plastic trim that covers the front tunnel carpet could trap the edge of a driver's shoe while their foot was on the gas pedal.
The investigation was expanded in April 2015, but the 2012 Nissan Versa was removed from the government probe. Safety regulators were told by Nissan the 2012 Versa didn't use the same trim panel design as the other cars, something the lawsuit claims is false.
The lawsuit seeks damages for the wrongful death of the woman and an order for Nissan to recall the 2012-2015 Versa.
Read owner-reported complaints about the Nissan Versa.