NISSAN today insisted its electric cars were not a potential hazard to blind pedestrians after an MP claimed their engines should be made noisier in a bid to boost road safety.
Labour’s Mary Glindon raised her concerns in Parliament amid worries that the silent cars could pose a risk to blind, partially sighted and elderly people.
The North Tyneside MP said she was a strong supporter of Nissan and its 6,000-strong workforce, but wanted the new cars produced at the Sunderland factory and elsewhere to be as safe as possible.
However, Nissan bosses said the firm had carried out a series of tests on its vehicles before they entered production, developing a pedestrian-alert system to improve road safety.
“Although there are no regulations today that require automakers to have pedestrian-alert sounds on their cars, Nissan has taken the initiative to develop the Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians in response to public concern about the quietness of EVs and hybrids,” said a spokesman.
“In developing the alert, Nissan studied research on the behaviour of the visually impaired and worked with cognitive and acoustic psychologists. Nissan worked to avoid a sound range that would add unnecessary noise to the environment.”