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VOL. 41 | NO. 18 | Friday, May 05, 2017

US probes complaints of brake problems on Nissan Murano SUVs

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DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government's highway safety agency is investigating complaints that the brakes can malfunction on some Nissan SUVs.

The probe covers about 110,000 Muranos from the 2009 model year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents posted Friday that 58 drivers complained about the problem. One reported a crash with three injuries.

The complaints allege that the brake pedal loses pressure, causing increased stopping distances. The problem happens after braking on a low-friction surface such as a manhole cover. Some drivers reported that the pedal went to the floor.

Nissan said it is reviewing data and cooperating in the investigation. Drivers who experience braking problems should take their Murano to a dealer, the company said in a statement.

A driver in West Park, Florida told the agency that the brake pedal was pushed but the Murano failed to stop in 2015. The driver switched lanes apparently to avoid a crash, but the SUV was hit on the side by another vehicle. The driver and front passenger suffered back injuries, while the rear passenger had a head injury. All required medical treatment, according to the complaint.

Five months before the crash, the front of the Murano was hit by another vehicle, the agency reported. People who complain to NHTSA are not identified in the agency's database.

In some of the complaints, drivers reported that the anti-lock brake hydraulic control unit was replaced, and that apparently solved the problem.

The agency said the reports generally involve higher mileage, older SUVs, suggesting that the problem happens more frequently as the vehicles age.

Investigators will determine how often the problem happens and whether a recall is needed.

A message was left Friday morning seeking comment from Nissan.

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