Monday, February 13, 2017

Nissan executive flies to Britain to testify over fatal crash

Nissan executive flies to Britain to testify over fatal crash

Ann Diggles, 82, was parking her Nissan Qashqai when it shot forward, mounted a pavement and hit Julie Dean, who died at the sceneNEIL JONES/PA

Nissan has flown a senior executive from Japan to the UK to fight a claim that a fault on one of its cars led to a pensioner killing a pedestrian in Lancashire.
Ann Diggles, 82, was parking her Nissan Qashqai automatic when it suddenly shot forward, mounted a pavement and hit Julie Dean, 53. She was crushed under the wheels of the vehicle and died at the scene.
Mrs Diggles, from Leyland, Lancashire, was charged with causing death by dangerous driving after police concluded she mistakenly pressed the accelerator rather than the brake.
A jury heard that the tragedy may, however, have been caused by a malfunction in the electronic throttle system of her Nissan due to an undercharged battery. 

Nissan drivers tell 'runaway car' death trial their vehicles surged forward for no reason

Ann Diggles is accused of killing Julie Dean by pressing the accelerator instead of the brake on her Nissan Qashqai but she claims a vehicle fault was to blame.


Ann Diggles is accused of killing Julie Dean ion her Nissan Qashqai by pressing the accelerator rather than the brake

Two drivers have told a jury in the trial of a great-grandmother who claims her "runaway" vehicle caused a fatal collision that their Nissan cars also surged forward at speed without them touching the accelerator.
Both women came forward to give evidence following publicity of the case involving Ann Diggles, who prosecutors say mistakenly pressed the accelerator of her Nissan Qashqai instead of the brake and killed Julie Dean, 53, outside a charity shop in Leyland, Lancashire, in July 2014.
The 82-year-old denies causing death by dangerous or careless driving and claims a vehicle fault was to blame.
The defendant says the automatic vehicle "took off" when she "very gently" pressed the accelerator as she drove across the road and headed towards a parking space.
Lawyers for the retired nurse say a malfunction in the car's electronic throttle due to an undercharged battery led to an "uncommanded acceleration" of the vehicle.

Ann Diggles blames a vehicle malfunction for the fatal crash 

But a senior boss of the Japanese automotive giant flew in to the UK to give evidence last week at Preston Crown Court that such an event was "impossible", as the jury also heard that no problem was identified with the throttle, brakes or battery.
Before the jury was sent out today to consider its verdict, Sharon Davies said that her Nissan Juke automatic ploughed into a wall at her home "incredibly quick" without her touching the accelerator, while Naomi Taylor said her Nissan Qashqai "sped off" on its own on a winding road before she managed to bring it to a halt.
Mrs Davies, from Marford, Wrexham, said she was returning home from a Tai Chi class with a neighbour, with her three-year-old son in the back of her car, when the collision happened on January 10.
She said: "Just as I had turned into my parking space the car made a funny clunking noise and almost came to a stop, and I remember thinking the car was going to stall.
"I went to touch the accelerator and the car just ploughed forward into the wall much quicker than I would have expected it to have done.

Japanese carmakers Nissan say their popular Qashqai model could not have suffered the type of malfunction Ann Diggles claims occurred

"I remember being absolutely shocked because my foot was not on the accelerator or brake at the time."
She added the car made a "high-pitched revving noise" as it accelerated.
She said the collision "completely demolished" the small wall and happened a week after the 2013 model Juke, which she owned from new, had been serviced and passed its MOT.
Her local Nissan dealer could not find any fault with the throttle and she later decided to part-exchange the Juke for a different make of car, the court was told.
Mrs Davies said: "Because they didn't find anything it made me more nervous to drive it again."

Driver cleared over fatal Nissan Qashqai crash

  • 7 February 2017

A driver who told a court her Nissan Qashqai "took off" and sped out control before hitting a pedestrian has been cleared of causing a fatal crash.
Ann Diggles, 82, was trying to park her car when it hit Julie Dean, 53.
Mrs Diggles denied causing death by dangerous or careless driving, blaming a vehicle fault for the crash in Leyland, Lancashire.
The Japanese car maker said it had found no faults when it examined Mrs Diggles' car.
Ms Dean, who was stepping out of a charity shop at the time, was pronounced dead at the scene

'No pedals mistake'

Lawyers for the retired nurse said a malfunction in the automatic car's electronic throttle, caused by an undercharged battery, led to the vehicle surging forward of its own accord in an "uncommanded acceleration".
But prosecutors claimed Mrs Diggles mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake, which she denied.
During the trial, she said the car had "surged forward" as she put her foot "very gently" on the accelerator.
Amid coverage of the case, two women contacted the court to claim they had experienced "uncommanded acceleration" in their Nissan automatic cars.

'Exemplary safety record'

They went on to give evidence for the defence, telling the jury they believed the vehicles sped forward without them touching the accelerator.
Mrs Diggles, of Dalehead Road, Leyland, sat in the dock in tears after the jury cleared her.
In a statement, Nissan said: "The vehicle in this case was examined by Nissan and by the police. At no point was any fault found with the vehicle which could have caused this accident."
"The Qashqai has an exemplary safety record, and has been tested and complies with all safety regulations in all markets."