Sudden Acceleration


Asked by Sep 18, 2013 at 10:14 AM about the 2000 Nissan Frontier 4 Dr SE 4WD Crew Cab SB

Question type: General

In April, my mother got into our Nissan Frontier, which was parked at a supermarket
parking lot and ended up in a collision with 2 parked vehicles! Her story of events were
that the car would not start initially and then when it did and she pressed on the
accelerator, it leapt forward and would not stop - she is adamant that she was pressing
on the brakes so hard to try and stop the car but the only thing that did eventually stop
it was when it hit another parked car, which in turn hit one more parked car! The
Frontier was a write off, the airbag had inflated, but luckily there were no serious
injuries. When my husband was speaking with the policeman, he said he reckoned she
had mistaken the brake for the gas pedal but she swears that the vehicle went off so
quickly and really it all happened so fast she can't really recall but her foot was very
bruised from apparently trying to press the brake pedal so hard.  My question is, who is
likely to be more correct, the policeman or my mother?  This has become a slight
elephant in the room and you can imagine the jokes my husband now tells that his
mother-in-law wrote his vehicle off, but at the same time I really want to know what the
real reason for this accident could have been and whether it actually could have been a
sudden acceleration incident or whether that is not possible when one first drives off
from a parked position? We really just want to solve this little mystery, not least to
draw a line under the event and move on with things! Many thanks, Allyson

12 Answers

Tom Demyan

Without being there you will never know what exactly happened. The gas pedal might have gotten stuck with the floormat or other mechanical issue and she did have the brake on. In an emergency some people hit the wrong pedal. It's a situation that can't be solved, why worry about? Time to move on.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

My grandmother drove through the big window at the Post Office and swore to her dying day she had her foot on the brake, A thorough investigation revealed no mechanical problems with her car. Not an accusation your Mom is mistaken. Just what happened in my family. She had her foot on the gas, and was convinced was on brake.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

PS. Glad nobody was hurt

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Thank you for your responses - I also feel it is time to move on and as you say we will never know but I thought I would take a stab and see whether there was ever a particular issue with sudden acceleration in Frontiers, but to be honest I do think this was down to human error as we had the vehicle for so long and never had a problem with it....David, it is interesting about your grandmother and thank you for my heart I know this is what happened with my mom but we will have to just let everything be....and yes, as you say nobody was hurt which is such a relief- it could have been much worse and it is only a car at the end of the day...thanks again!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

You got it can be replaced. Mom Can't. That's why we pay through the nose for insurance.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Well, my mother was driving a 2009 Nissan Rogue and states she was driving along and the car accelerated- she had to use the emergency brake. I had the car towed to Auto nation Nissan dealership, the mechanic states that 0 codes were on and they could not find a problem but he would keep it overnight and drive it cold tomorrow. Well today he called and the car did accelerate and the problem is an air pressure problem, they will have to blow out some tube. I believe this happens more than the car companies will own up to. I'm just grateful that we had a mechanic that listened. I will sell it--its a 2009 Nissan Rogue with only 29,000 miles and has never missed scheduled maintenance at the dealership.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
10 I purchased a 2004 Xterra 2 years ago for my son and his daughter (2 years old) to use. It has repeatedly had a problem of SUDDEN UNWANTED ACCELERATION. Last night it did it again on I-75. It was going past 90 MPH when he called me in a panic. I told him to put it in neutral and then apply the brakes. He did this. When we got there I started it up and it was still at a ridiculous high RPM. Like it was stuck wide open. I had it towed to the garage. It's a miracle he and his daughter wasn't killed and/seriously injured. I am extremely upset with this situation and expect Nissan to do something about this problem.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I suspect that 99.999 percent of "I stepped on the brake and the car jumped forward" are driver error. Unless the car has drive by wire this condition is pretty much impossible.

Susan Kennedy

We have just bought a 2015 4WD Nissan Frontier From a dealer. We are having a acceleration probem. We can be driving down the road and the truck will speed up even when you are not pressing the acceleration pedel

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I came here looking for answers to this problem, in my situation I was pulling into a parking place at my work with my 2004 Nissan Frontier, I was almost stopped with my foot on the brake when it suddenly accelerated with tires squealing because I was mashing on the brake, it jumped the curb and went onto the sidewalk, then just went to an idle, I convinced myself that my big foot had to have been contacting the gas pedal even though it looked impossible to me. Then about 3 months later I pulled up to a stoplight and came to a complete stop(no one in front of me.) and the same thing happened, I again tried to see how I could possibly happen by accident and have come to the conclusion that it could not. I took it to my mechanic and we took it for a drive, and while he was driving at a steady speed it accelerated and decelerated three times. We can get no codes what so ever. So those of you with this problem are in my estimation not crazy. We are looking for an answer, as it is I am not to wild about driving this truck.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Driving my 2015 Rogue on Pa turnpike. Speed limit was 70 so I was doing that. Out of no where the car started to accelerate. Checked the cruise control it was not on applied the brake would not stop the accelerate. Slammed the gas peddle to see if it was stuck nothing. Had to drive the car at about 80 miles a hour with foot on brake till it was safe to pull over put car in neutral . In neutral motor revved and squealed like I was flooring it. Turned it off engine light on tried to restart nothing . Waited for AAA to tow tried to start again same thing revved full throttle. Still no answer from Nissan. Thank god we weren't killed on the Pa Turnpike. My grandson had been driving and I took over in Allentown. A young driver would have panicked. Calling Nissan corporate and Selling the car as soon as I get it back.


My wife just had similar problem: her 2010 Altima accelerated on a parking lot, jumped a grass divider and crashed into another parked car. She is a very careful driver and the way she described it does sound like a problem with her car. I am sure it would be impossible to get Nissan to do proper testing though. Any suggestions?

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