— A Nissan Frontier side airbag lawsuit will continue after a federal judge ruled against Nissan's motion to dismiss, at least for the most part.
Plaintiff Bobette Brantley says the side airbags deploy too easily in Frontier trucks, all without need of a crash. She also alleges Nissan won't cover the damages under warranty and refuses to reimburse owners who must pay out-of-pocket for repairs.
In addition to the expense of repairing the airbags and any damage they caused, the lawsuit alleges drivers are dangerously distracted when the side airbags deploy without the truck rolling over.
The original Nissan Frontier side airbag lawsuit included model years 2011-2012, but plaintiff Josh Jones jumped in and expanded the suit to include 2007-2014 Frontier trucks.
The plaintiffs say Nissan has continued to conceal the allegedly defective airbags from consumers so the automaker can sell the trucks, then refuses to cover the repairs under warranty.
Nissan Frontier truck owners have long complained about side airbags deploying for no reason and ringing the bells of occupants.
"Side curtain airbags deployed for no reason while driving 5-10 mph on flat road. Almost knocked me out and left me confused for awhile, and caused my ears to ring all day. Apparently Nissan knows of the problem and has done nothing about it at all." - 2012 Nissan Frontier owner / Henderson, Nevada
Other owners say they worry about things when using the trucks off-road, but they usually worry about causing damage to the bodies of the trucks, not even thinking the airbags would deploy without rolling over.
"Myself and one passenger were off-roading in my 2012 Frontier pro-4X going over a bumpy surface and without warning the side airbags went off! luckily no one was injured, but we both got quite a scare due to the noise and lack of visibility. There is no damage to the front end nor were we at any degree of angle. Yes it was bumpy but when you pay for a vehicle that states clearly off road on the side you expect it has the suspension to support the ride. The very last thing I was thinking of was the air bags, until they came out." - 2012 Nissan Frontier owner / Lakeland, Florida
Plaintiff Brantley says she almost lost control of the truck when the side airbags deployed and then had to spend thousands of dollars to repair the truck to make it safe to drive.
Nissan argued that Brantley purchased her truck used, which was cause for the judge to throw out implied warranty claims since under the law in California, the truck must be bought new in California.
The judge agreed and tossed those claims, but Judge Kenneth Freeman ruled the majority of claims in the class-action lawsuit can continue, including consumer protection and fraud claims.
The Nissan Frontier side airbag lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles - Brantley v. Nissan North America Inc. et al.