Valley man stuck in driver seat dilemmaPosted: Updated:
MESA, Ariz. - “Driving that vehicle is like a roller coaster going up and down.”
Willie Hogan says these days, driving his SUV is more like being on an amusement park ride.
“You go over a little bump, aw man, forget it, you'll be in Disneyland then,” he said.
Willie says it all started a few weeks ago when he felt something kind of strange while driving his 2005 Nissan Murano.
At first, he thought one of his tires had gone flat until he stopped and got out.
“So I got in the back and I looked, and I looked underneath and I pushed the seat back and forth and it appeared the bracket was broken in the back,” Willie said.
It turned out, a broken bracket under the driver’s seat was causing him to suddenly sway back and forth behind the wheel.
The driver's seat is supposed to be held up by four of those brackets.
But with one broken, Willie says it's a challenge to simply sit and drive.
“It's scary, basically, because you know I'm strapping myself in but I don't know what the repercussions would be if I got in an accident because it's on three prongs right now,” he said.
Willie says he went online to find out about getting the seat fixed and quickly learned he's not the only one with the seating problem.
He showed 3 On Your Side a stack of complaints from people who claim they've had similar experiences.
With so many complaints, Willie thought there may be a recall but found out there wasn't one.
“So, unfortunately, it seems like somebody has to get seriously injured or killed before they recall something like this that could be a major safety recall,” he said.
3 On Your Side contacted Nissan which told us drivers who feel they have a defective part need to file a complaint directly through them, not through consumer websites like Willie showed us. You can file a complaint by calling the company's consumer affairs division.
Otherwise, Nissan says it has no way of knowing the problem exists.
For now, Nissan consumers are stuck paying $750 for a new bracket and $250 for dealers to install it.
However, when we told Earnhart Nissan in Mesa about Willie's problem, they agreed to waive the installation fee, saving him some money anyway.
“It's a big issue to me right now,” Willie said. “I'm very concerned about it and I hope Nissan does something about it because it scares me right now.”