— Nissan Altima transmission issues will continue to be argued in court as a Massachusetts judge denied to dismiss the lawsuit that alleges the continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) fail prematurely.
Nissan filed a motion to dismiss the class-action lawsuit, but U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin ruled Nissan's motion was "meritless."
The Nissan Altima transmission class-action lawsuit includes all Massachusetts consumers who purchased or leased 2013-2014 Nissan Altimas.
Plaintiff Krista Costa says she purchased a new 2014 Nissan Altima in October 2014 and equipped with a continuously variable automatic transmission Nissan promoted as having “smoothness,” “fluid-feeling performance” and “drivability and responsiveness.”
However, Costa argues the Altima would start shaking out of no where and the CVT finally failed in June 2018.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff had to pay $3,500 to have the transmission replaced, a problem Costa says occurs often to Altima drivers. The 2013-2014 cars allegedly hesitate, shudder, make noise, stall and eventually suffer transmission failures due to defects in the CVTs.
The plaintiff claims the transmission issues cause a serious safety risk that has been concealed by Nissan as the automaker throws the repair costs onto customers.
In its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Nissan claims the plaintiff described vague symptoms allegedly caused by the CVTs but allegedly didn't point to any specific defect in design, workmanship or materials.
According to attorneys for Nissan, Costa never alleges “any particular misrepresentation” nor “identif[ied] any legally enforceable standard that the CVT components did not meet.”
The judge found the plaintiff did assert the alleged transmission issues caused complete failure of the CVT that required her to pay thousands of dollars to replace.
The judge also ruled the plaintiff clearly identified promotional messages from Nissan which are allegedly deceptive based on the workings of her transmission. In other words, at this stage of the pleading Costa did enough to sustain her claims.
Nissan also argues the lawsuit should be dismissed because the plaintiff drove her Altima for almost four years without any serious problems, allegedly proof her car was suitable for transportation and “merchantable as a matter of law.”
However, the judge ruled Costa didn't simply allege the CVT wore out faster than expected but rather described the safety-related issues such as unexpected surges of power and a loss of motion.
“The severity of these issues and the extent to which they may have rendered the vehicle unmerchantable is a question of fact. Costa’s allegations are plainly sufficient to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) challenge to her warranty claims. For the foregoing reasons, Nissan’s motion to dismiss...is DENIED." - Judge Sorokin
The Nissan Altima lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts - Krista Costa, et al., v. Nissan North America, Inc.