COLORADO SPRINGS — The Center for Auto Safety is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization that's calling on car makers and the federal government to address melting dashboards in some vehicles. News5 explains why consumer experts believe it's a safety hazard.
In the last 50 years the Center for Auto Safety has worked to improve safety in all vehicles including pushing for recall repairs at no cost to the consumer. In this case it says melting dashboards may pose safety concerns and should be replaced.
Two years after Brittany Scardino bought her Nissan Altima she started noticing her dashboard was becoming sticky, shiny, and caused a large glare on her windshield.
"I couldn't see, I almost hit several people in crosswalks crossing in front of me," she said. "If that sun was in the right spot, pray."
She says the dash was melting and according to the Center for Auto Safety she's not alone. The consumer advocates say hundreds of complaints made to the national highway traffic safety administration and these are expensive repairs costing drivers thousands of dollars to replace their dashboards.
This prompted the Center for Auto Safety to send a letter this month to federal investigators and Nissan, the automaker it says consumers regularly complain about when it comes to melting dashboards.
The letter to Nissan reads in part....
"Over almost the last decade, "melting" Nissan dashboards are the most frequent car complaint CAS has received. Many of these complaints are about more than the dashboards' cosmetic appearance, and frequently document legitimate safety concerns that remain due to Nissan corporate and dealership practice of refusing to provide consumers with repair assistance or replacement dashboards."
In a statement Nissan disputed those claims saying...
"Nissan denies the claims made in the letter written by the Center for Auto Safety. The issues described in that letter have not been found to pose a safety concern, and have been asserted only by a limited number of vehicle owners. Nissan will continue to assess any consumer concerns and take appropriate steps in dealing with each case. Nissan customers can contact Nissan Consumer Affairs at 800-647-7261 for questions and additional information."
According to NHTSA complaint records provided by the Center for Auto Safety, there was a report of a melting dashboard in Colorado Springs. An owner of a 2005 Infiniti FX45 reported their dashboard was melting, but was advised by the dealership to buy a dashboard cover without diagnosing the problem, or making a repair.
Are there more melting dashboard issues in our state? It's something consumer advocates want to know about.
If you believe your vehicle has this issue it's important to report it and we're here to help with that.
You can send an email to News5Investigates@KOAA.com or contact us through our website here.