Lancashire

Nissan cars 'sped' without accelerator use, court hears

Ann Diggles Image copyright PA
Image caption Ann Diggles has denied causing death by dangerous or careless driving

Two drivers have told a court their Nissan cars sped forward without them touching the accelerator.

They were speaking during the trial of Ann Diggles, who was trying to park her Nissan Qashqai when it hit Julie Dean, 53, in Leyland, Lancashire, in 2014.

The 82-year-old denies causing death by dangerous or careless driving, claiming a vehicle fault was to blame.

Sharon Davies told Preston Crown Court her Nissan Juke automatic "completely demolished" a small wall at her home.

She said the car, which had her three-year-old son in the back, moved "incredibly quick" without her touching the accelerator as she was trying to park.

'High-pitched noise'

Speaking before the jury was sent out to consider its verdict, she said: "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.

The 2013 model, which she owned from new, had been serviced and passed its MOT about a week earlier.

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, the court was told.

Naomi Taylor said her 2015-registered Qashqai "surged forward" and missed a turning to her mother's home when her foot was neither on the accelerator or brake.

Nissan found no electronic malfunction with the car, the court was told, and the vehicle was returned to her.

'No pedal mistake'

Ms Davies and Ms Taylor were speaking after publicity over the case, in which Mrs Diggles said her car "took off" when she "very gently" pressed the accelerator as she headed towards a parking space.

Her lawyers said a malfunction in her car's electronic throttle, caused by an undercharged battery, led to the vehicle surging forward in an "uncommanded acceleration".

Prosecutors have claimed Mrs Diggles mistakenly pressed the accelerator pedal instead of the brake, which she has denied.

The crash happened as Mrs Dean stepped out of a charity shop. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The trial continues.

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