— A Nissan Versa CVT (continuously variable transmission) lawsuit alleges the cars fail to accelerate and finally experience complete transmission failure that causes owners and lessees to pay thousands of dollars for CVT replacements and repairs.
The proposed class-action lawsuit includes all current and former owners and lessees of 2012 and 2013 Nissan Versas that are equipped with CVTs that allegedly fail within and shortly after the warranties expire.
A CVT is a modified automatic transmission that uses a single belt and a dual-pulley mechanism with a “drive pulley” and “driven pulley” that work opposite one another, constantly creating different gear ratios that allegedly allow smooth acceleration and deceleration.
Plaintiff Michael Knotts says he bought a new Nissan Versa in October 2012 and eventually the car failed to accelerate in traffic after braking at an intersection.
On one particular occasion after having braked at a red light, the plaintiff allegedly attempted to accelerate across the intersection when the light turned green. His Versa, however, would not accelerate beyond a crawl, causing him to block traffic behind him and leaving him barely able to move the car onto the shoulder of the road.
In March 2017, he took his Versa to a mechanic who at the time presumed it was a fuel injection issue. In April when the Versa allegedly again would not accelerate at an intersection, the car was towed to a repair shop that recognized the problem was with the transmission.
The plaintiff says the shop replaced the CVT transmission, so Mr. Knotts contacted Nissan and complained about the problems he had with the transmission.
The automaker refused to cover the cost of the repairs under warranty because the problem occurred outside the warranty period and because Knotts had repairs done by service providers other than Nissan, leaving the plaintiff to pay nearly $4,000.
Versa owners have complained to CarComplaints.com about the huge expense to get the CVTs replaced, and the experience of the car jerking and jumping like a raging bull.
"After being stuck in traffic because our freeway was closed due to a major accident, I finally took my exit and all of a sudden my car would not accelerate even after i pressed all the way down on the gas. I took it to my mechanic today only to find out that the transmission needed to be replaced completely. Previously Nissan extended their CVT warranty for vehicles up to the year 2010/ I am unable to pay the $4000 repair to get the transmission repaired and driving is an essential part of my job." - 2012 Nissan Versa owner / Mesa, Arizona
"It lost power or something, I had it in cruise and it started jerking and the tack was rising to about 700, it almost jerked forward into another car, I pulled into a walmart parking and called a garage, I was told it would take about a week to get done, and would cost over 3,000 dollars. Thank God for the extended warranty. I was told by two garages that Nissan versa transmission were really bad. I am very upset about this." - 2012 Nissan Versa owner / Ozark, Missouri
The plaintiff says he wouldn't have paid what he did for the Versa if Nissan would have told him about the CVT problems, or possibly may not have bought the car at all.
According to the plaintiff, Nissan was aware of the transmission problems before the cars were even sold, based on pre-production testing, and certainly would have known shortly after the cars were sold based on customer complaints.
Nissan allegedly has no viable fix for the CVT other than replacing the transmission after it fails, and at a cost of thousands of dollars if not covered under warranty.
The plaintiff says the Nissan Versa warranty is "unconscionable" because it allegedly is meant to cover all internal parts of the transmission even though Nissan was aware that the CVTs were defective. In addition, the automaker shifted the cost of an allegedly known defect to the consumer without the consumer’s knowledge.
The Nissan Versa CVT lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota - Michael Knotts, et. al., v. Nissan North America, Inc.