Nissan Sued Over Alleged Phantom Braking

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NASHVILLE. – Nissan has been named in a class-action lawsuit claiming certain of its vehicles’ automatic-emergency braking (AEB) caused them to stop for no apparent reason.

The suit, filed in in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, alleges a potential defect exists in the Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) system in Nissan vehicles equipped with a Continental ARS410 radar sensor, including: 2019-2021 Maxima, 2020-2021 Sentra, 2020-21 Versa, 2017-2021 Rogue Sport, 2019-2021 Altima, 2020-2021 Kicks, 2017-2020 Rogue, 2021 Armada, 2018-2021 Leaf, 2019-2021 Murano and 2020-2021 Titan.

When the AEB system suddenly and without apparent need begins braking the vehicle, the driver, passengers and others are put in danger due to the confusing situation facing the driver.

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The plaintiffs, Michelle Bereda, Angelene Hoeffken, and Scott Neri, in the complaint allege “The FEB Defect can cause the Class Vehicles to stop without warning during normal and intended vehicle operation, thereby posing an unreasonable safety hazard to drivers, passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians. Plaintiffs and other Class members have reported significant, unexpected phantom decelerations and stops due to the false engagement of the Class Vehicle’s FEB system, even though no objects – vehicles, pedestrians, or otherwise – were nearby. Additionally, Plaintiffs and other Class members have complained that the FEB system also frequently deactivates itself, detracting their focus from the road and rendering the FEB safety feature useless.”

They also allege Nissan knew of the potential defect, but continued to market and sell products with it. In addition, the suit alleges the company since 2018 issued more than 10 service bulletins regarding AEB and owners’ manuals indicate “in some road or traffic conditions, the FEB (forward emergency braking) system may unexpectedly apply partial braking.

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Previous issues concerning alleged malfunctioning Nissan AEB systems revolved around versions of the 2017-2018 Rogue and Rogue Sport SUVs which resulted in the 2019 opening of an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The investigation remains open.

Nissan did not offer a response to the complaint, a spokesperson saying the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.