Nissan has been cautioned in a case with the US Federal Trade Commission over a commercial for the Frontier, sold in Australia as the Nissan Navara. Nissan North America and their ad agency TBWA Worldwide have settled the case with the commission with the admission that a stunt shown in a commercial for the popular ute was faked.
The ad footage shows a Frontier tearing up a steep sand dune to rescue a bogged buggy, pushing it safely to the top. The case has now reached an official agreement that the ute -- even one with the 550Nm of torque delivered by the Navara's top-spec 3.0-litre turbodiesel -- could not push a dune buggy up such a steep slope.
To shoot the slightly humorous ad, the production crew used cables to pull both vehicle up the dune. Nissan has not been fined over the representation of the stunt, but has agreed not to use potentially misleading footage in future commercials.
Watch the Nissan Hillclimb ad here
It's not the only time the Nissan Frontier has been shown with near super-vehicle powers. Another US ad filmed in a mock news broadcast style showed the Frontier coming to the rescue of an ailing passenger airplane with landing gear that had failed to properly deploy.
In this case, the Frontier screams onto the runway and -- keeping pace with the plane -- lets it put its mangled front wheels into the ute's tray.
Watch the Nissan Landing Gear ad here
Likewise, a current commercial for the Nissan Rogue -- the US version of our Dualis (soon to be called Qashqai) -- shows a woman getting her carpool commuters to work on time by dodging heavy traffic and jumping onto the roof of a moving train. Nissan has labelled the ad with warnings of 'fantasy' and 'do not attempt'.
Watch the Nissan Commuter ad here
This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott