LAWSUITS FILED DUE TO NISSAN CVT TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS
Norman Taylor & Associates
October 11, 2022
Multiple class-action lawsuits were filed against Nissan due to an ongoing defect with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) used in its vehicles.
While Nissan is credited with popularizing CVT transmissions, their process has clearly not been perfected.
Nissan vehicles have had issues with CVT transmissions as early as 2003: affected cars jerk, shutter, shake, and stall. This makes the cars dangerous to drive, posing a hazard to both the vehicle’s occupants and other drivers on the road.
Despite multiple class-action lawsuits, Nissan continues to refuse any wrongdoing or replace CVTs with a more reliable transmission in new cars.
Learn more about symptoms of Nissan’s CVT defects, the car models affected, and what to do if you feel your Nissan vehicle has a defective transmission.
SYMPTOMS OF NISSAN CVT TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS
If you lease or own a Nissan and your car experienced any of the following issues, you might be dealing with a lemon.
Symptoms of Nissan’s CVT defects include:
- Slow acceleration
- Transmission slipping
- Premature transmission failure
- Burning smells (usually caused by coolant or other fluid leaks)
Transmission defects can lead to serious issues while driving. Complaints from Nissan drivers include losing power while driving on a highway, feeling unsafe operating their vehicles, and difficulty accelerating.
While transmission issues are one of the most common vehicle defects that prompt lemon law cases, Nissan’s CVT problems are more egregious than other car manufacturers.
CVT TRANSMISSION ISSUES ARE COSTLY AND DANGEROUS
In one of many class-action lawsuits filed against Nissan North America, lead plaintiffs discuss the dangers their Nissan CVT issues caused.
Lead plaintiffs, Teresa Stringer, Karen Brooks, and William Papania, allege that the shaky transmission problems lead to a shaky ride, cause severe delays when trying to accelerate, and the cost of repair is “exorbitant.”
Another plaintiff, Utah-resident Andrea Eliason, claims that she has “often been scared for her own safety and the safety of her family while driving.”
The plaintiffs also claim that Nissan is well-aware of the problems with the CVTs, yet has failed to adequately address or attempt to remedy the defect.
Specifically, the lawsuit cites past consumer complaints from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which shows that the car manufacturer’s own testing should have brought the defect to light as soon as 2013.
Additionally, Nissan posted several technical service bulletins (TSBs) at dealerships regarding the CVT problems, yet kept these issues concealed from consumers.
Therefore, the plaintiffs are seeking damages, including reimbursement for repairs and expenses related to the alleged defect.
AFFECTED NISSAN VEHICLES: CVT DEFECTS
A wide variety of Nissan vehicles suffer from CVT issues.
The following models are believed to be equipped with defective continuously variable transmissions (CVTs):
- 2012-2017 Nissan Versa*
- 2013-2017 Nissan Sentra*
- 2013-2016 Nissan Altima*
- 2013-2017 Nissan Juke*
- 2014-2017 Nissan Versa Note*
- 2015-2018 Pathfinders*
- 2014-2016 Rogue SUVs
- 2014-2018 Nissan Rogue*
- 2015-2017 Nissan Quest
- 2018-2021 Nissan Murano
- 2018-2021 Nissan Leaf
- 2018-2021 Nissan Armada
*Nissan vehicles class-action lawsuits were filed against.
If you own or lease any of the vehicles listed above and have experienced any transmission problems, contact our lemon law attorneys today!
We can help determine if your car qualifies as a lemon and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
NISSAN CVT CLASS-ACTION SETTLEMENTS
Multiple class-action lawsuits have been filed against Nissan North America. Most of these lawsuits have been settled out of court without admission of fault on Nissan’s end. Here are a few of the biggest CVT transmission lawsuits Nissan settled over the last few years.
CVT SETTLEMENT: NISSAN SENTRA, VERSA NOTE, AND VERSA
In 2020, Nissan North America reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed for CVT issues in:
- 2013-2017 Nissan Sentra
- 2014-2017 Nissan Versa Note
- 2012-2017 Nissan Versa
This lawsuit combined three separate class actions into one settlement.
While Nissan still denies any wrongdoing, they agreed to:
- Reimbursement – Nissan will reimburse members of the class action lawsuit 100% of whatever they paid for parts and labor to repair their CVTs if the work was completed at a Nissan dealership. If it wasn’t completed at an authorized Nissan dealer, they will reimburse up to $4,750.
- Extended warranties – They extended the Nissan New Vehicle Limited Warranty that covers the transmission from 60 months or 60,000 miles to 84 months of 84,000 miles, whichever occurs first
CVT SETTLEMENT: STRINGER V. NISSAN OF NORTH AMERICA, INC.
The Stringer v. Nissan North America, Inc. class-action lawsuit alleged CVT problems in the following vehicles:
- 2014-2018 Nissan Rogue
- 2015-2018 Nissan Pathfinder
- 2015-2018 Infiniti QX60
While Nissan North America continues to deny any wrongdoing, the company agreed to pay over $277 million to resolve these claims. Class action members who attempted to repair their vehicle could receive up to $5,000.
They also issued multiple warranty extensions:
- Extended warranty for Nissan Rogue and Pathfinder vehicles – Nissan extended the original 60-month or 60,000-mile warranty to 84 months or 84,000 miles. This applies to 2014-2018 Nissan Rogue and 2015-2018 Nissan Pathfinder vehicles.
- Extended warranty for Infiniti QX60 – Nissan extended the original 72-month or 70,000-mile warranty to 96 months of 94,000 miles. This applies to 2015-2018 Infiniti QX60 vehicles.
IS IT TOO LATE TO JOIN IN ON NISSAN’S CLASS-ACTION SETTLEMENTS?
Yes, if your vehicle was affected by the lawsuits that have already been settled, it’s too late to be included or seek further compensation.
Once a class action lawsuit is finalized, if a consumer did not opt out of being part of the lawsuit, nobody (not even a lemon law attorney!) can help them. So, essentially, if you didn’t take any action when your car was part of the lawsuit, you become a participant of that lawsuit even if you didn’t intend to.
When you receive notice of the lawsuit, you have to opt out by sending a letter that you do not wish to be part of the lawsuit. If you didn’t opt out when the lawsuit was filed, you don’t have any rights beyond whatever you’re entitled to from the class-action lawsuit.
Opt Out of Future Class-Action Lawsuits
If you’re contacted to join in on a future Nissan transmission class-action lawsuit, we strongly recommend contacting an experienced lemon law attorney to discuss whether opting out of the class action is right for you. You just may have a much better individual claim than what the class action would net for you.
With an individual attorney taking on your case, you have a much stronger chance of receiving the compensation you’re owed. Instead of a small portion of a giant settlement, you’ll receive individual attention and a personalized settlement deal.
WHAT YEARS DID NISSAN HAVE CVT TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS?
While there isn’t a clear date Nissan became aware of CVT problems with its vehicles, it’s believed the car manufacturer knew about it as early as 2009. Here’s why.
In 2009, Nissan announced extended powertrain warranties for vehicles with CVT. The warranty doubled, from five years or 60,000 miles to ten years or 120,000 miles; whichever comes first.
While it appears to have been first acknowledged by the manufacturer in 2009, Nissan vehicles that were produced as early as 2003 suffered from CVT defects.
Despite multiple class-action lawsuits, Nissan continues to deny knowing about defects with CVTs, so we will likely never have an exact answer to this.
To date, class-action lawsuits have been filed (and settled) for Nissan vehicles from 2012 through 2018.
If you own or lease a Nissan vehicle that has transmission problems, contact us to set up a free consultation!
DID NISSAN FIX THE CVT PROBLEMS?
Nissan hasn’t really done anything to fix issues with CVT transmissions. Settlements in class-action lawsuits against them have left a bit to be desired.
Instead of changing the transmissions used in its vehicles or improving the technology, Nissan has simply extended warranties that cover transmission-related problems. One class-action settlement included reimbursements for transmission repairs. However, this was only extended to a few vehicles: the Nissan Sentra, Versa, and Versa Note.
The CVT transmission is still used in most of Nissan’s vehicles and has been a problem for Nissan owners for the better part of a decade.
IS THE NISSAN CVT A RELIABLE TRANSMISSION?
By many accounts, Nissan’s CVT transmissions are more trouble than they’re worth.
Nissan claims that the CVT transmissions are reliable, as they’re more durable, fuel efficient, and can last longer than a regular transmission. So, why do Nissan’s CVTs have so many issues? There is a design flaw that causes the car to overheat.
Previous lawsuits cite a defective cooling system. A transmission can be efficient, but if it overheats, it’s pretty much toast.
When a car’s transmission overheats, it will either stop working completely or will shift to fail-safe mode in an attempt to prevent further damage to the motor. Fail-safe mode immediately reduces speed and limits how fast you can drive, as to not put additional stress on the motor. This can be extremely dangerous for drivers, especially if they’re in the middle of a busy intersection or driving down the highway.
Speaking generally, a CVT transmission can be more reliable than a traditional one. However, the underlying defects associated with Nissan’s CVTs mitigate any increase in longevity or efficiency.
Other car manufacturers, including Toyota and Honda, also make cars with CVTs that don’t suffer from this defect. Their CVTs have modifications that make them more reliable and less prone to the transmission issues Nissan vehicles have.
WHAT IS A CVT TRANSMISSION?
A traditional transmission shifts using mechanical parts, including gears. In a car with a traditional transmission, you can feel your car shift gears as you accelerate or slow down. There are only a fixed number of gears and ranges your car can shift through.
Instead of mechanical gears, a CVT transmission uses a pulley system. This allows the car to shift seamlessly, as it doesn’t have to switch physical gears — it simply adapts the pulley systems for whatever amount of power is needed. With the pulley system, there is technically only one speed “or gear” the car can operate in.
CVTs can have many benefits, including increased fuel economy, smoother driving, and more adaptive driving.
However, a CVT tends to be more expensive than its traditional counterpart. This affects both the purchase price of the car and the cost to replace it should it go bad.
Replacing a transmission will always be one of the most expensive repairs a car might need due to the cost of parts and extensive labor, and a CVT is even more expensive than a traditional transmission.
DO YOU HAVE A FAULTY NISSAN CVT TRANSMISSION?
You and your family deserve to drive a safe vehicle. Plus, you shouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket maintenance fees for a vehicle that you expect to be functioning properly.
At Norman Taylor & Associates, we are dedicated to ensuring that your consumer rights are protected under California’s lemon law. If you believe you have a lemon on your hands or you simply want to learn more about your potential legal options, we are available and ready to assist you.
Contact our Los Angeles lemon law attorneys at (818)-244-3905 to schedule your FREE consultation today!Schedule my consultation