— A Nissan 370Z CSC (concentric slave cylinder) failure lawsuit is still struggling for class-action certification as the plaintiff tries to convince the judge about Nissan vehicles with clutch pedals that fall to the floorboards.
According to the lawsuit, the Nissan 370Z and other models have clutch pedals that stay on the floors because the thin aluminum concentric slave cylinders don't transfer heat effectively.
In 2016, plaintiff Huu Nguyen filed the proposed class-action lawsuit concerning Nissan 370Z cars, but the lawsuit was later amended to the current version that adds the 2007-2009 Nissan 350Z, 2007-2008 Infiniti G35, the 2008-2014 Infiniti G37 and the Infiniti Q60, all equipped with FS6R31A manual transmissions.
When the driver pushes the clutch pedal, “fluid pushes from the clutch master cylinder to the slave cylinder, developing hydraulic pressure and ultimately disconnecting the transmission from the engine via the clutch disc to allow for smooth gear shifts.”
The plaintiff says the FS6R31A transmission has an internal slave cylinder “placed inside the [bellhousing] unit along with the clutch disc, pressure plate, and flywheel.”
According to the lawsuit, the transmissions have defects in the slave cylinder assemblies because “the plastic internal cylinder requires excessive manipulation during the initial assembly in order to fit inside the bellhousing unit.”
The plaintiff claims this causes hydraulic fluid to leak from stress fractures, taking fluid away from the slave cylinder and allegedly damaging the clutch slave cylinder, clutch disc and pressure plate.
On top of that, Nguyen says the slave cylinder is too thin and prone to corrosion by constant exposure to hydraulic fluid. This eventually causes the clutch pedal to fall to the floor and leave a driver unable to shift gears.
According to the plaintiff, Nissan knew or should have known about the clutch problems since at least 2008, but complaints about the 2007 Nissan 350Z started in 2007.
In January 2008, Nissan issued customer service program “CSP NTB08-002” for all 2007 Nissan 350Z cars because the clutch slave cylinder assemblies could have experienced problems during manufacturing after repairs were made.
The problem could cause the clutch pedal to feel "light" and cause a driver problems using the clutch. However, the lawsuit alleges customers kept complaining about the clutch pedals.
Then in April 2013, Nissan issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) for all 2009-2013 Nissan 370Z cars because of loose clutch pedals that stayed on the floorboards. Nissan dealers were told to change the clutch hydraulic fluid, but the lawsuit alleges owners continued to complain.
Nguyen says he bought a new 2012 Nissan 370Z in January 2012 from a California Nissan dealer, but in March 2014 and with about 26,629 miles on the odometer, the plaintiff told a Nissan dealer the clutch pedal felt soft and would stick on the floor while the car was in motion.
Based on the 2013 service bulletin, technicians replaced the car’s hydraulic fluid, but the plaintiff says the “repair was inadequate” and the problem continued. Nissan then “replaced the vehicle’s clutch master cylinder, clutch slave cylinder, and brake tube at the clutch slave cylinder,” which required “removal of the entire transmission.”
Even with all the repairs, Nguyen claims the car continued to suffer from clutch pedal problems. In February 2016 and with about 50,000 miles on the odometer, the car was taken to a third-party repair shop and had the clutch slave cylinder replaced with an identical slave cylinder at a cost of $721.75 to Nguyen.
The Nissan 370Z clutch lawsuit was filed in September 2016 for all owners and lessees of 2009-2016 Nissan 370Z cars, but in December Nissan filed a motion to dismiss by arguing the plaintiff had adequate legal remedies at hand.
The plaintiff didn't fight Nissan's dismissal request, but in January 2017 both parties agreed to allow the plaintiff to file the first amended lawsuit to try to fix deficiencies in the complaint.
In February 2017, the plaintiff filed the amended complaint that added additional models to the original 370Z clutch lawsuit: 2007-2009 Nissan 350Z, 2007-2008 Infiniti G35, the 2008-2014 Infiniti G37 and the Infiniti Q60.
Nissan filed another motion to dismiss by telling the judge the lawsuit doesn't meet legal standards to be certified as a class-action lawsuit. The automaker argues the plaintiff has done nothing to prove current and former owners have suffered the same alleged harm.
Nissan told the judge the lawsuit should not be certified because there are too many individual issues involved and the plaintiff never shows that owners have the same probability of experiencing the alleged clutch problems. Nissan further argues every affected vehicle would need to be checked because the implied warranty claims involve individual cases.
Attorneys for Nissan also argue trying to determine damages by using the average cost of repairs has no basis in legal fact and the claim should be dismissed.
The Nissan concentric slave cylinder lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California - Nguyen v. Nissan North America Inc.
The plaintiff is represented by Capstone Law APC.
CarComplaints.com has complaints filed by owners of the Nissan vehicles included in the concentric slave cylinder failure lawsuit: