— A Nissan timing chain lawsuit has been preliminarily settled after vehicle owners accused Nissan of selling six models with defective primary timing chain tensioners, timing chain guides, secondary timing chain tensioners and tensioner shoes.
Although the class action initially included consumers in the entire country, the timing chain settlement includes former and current owners and lessees of the following vehicles in Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, North Carolina and Texas.
- 2004-2008 Nissan Maxima
- 2004-2009 Nissan Quest
- 2004-2006 Nissan Altima
- 2005-2007 Nissan Pathfinder
- 2005-2007 Nissan Xterra
- 2005-2007 Nissan Frontier
One plaintiff claims her 2007 Nissan Maxima timing chain failed when the vehicle had 127,000 miles on the odometer, a job that cost her $1,500. Other plaintiffs allege they paid similar amounts, and some customers must pay for complete engine replacements once the timing chain tensioning systems damage the engines.
The Nissan vehicles come with basic warranties which cover repairs during the first 36,000 miles or 3 years, and powertrain warranties which cover repairs during the first 60,000 miles or 5 years.
But according to the plaintiffs, Nissan allegedly knew when the timing chains would fail, so the automaker created its warranties with limits that would require customers to pay for repairs.
In agreeing to settle the lawsuit to end the burden and expense of additional litigation, Nissan "denies all allegations of wrongdoing, fault, liability, and damage of any kind" to the plaintiffs and vehicle owners.
Affected Nissan customers may receive partial reimbursements or vouchers for certain repairs or replacements of the primary or secondary timing chain systems.
Although the lawsuit alleges the vehicles can suffer from engine damage, the settlement says timing chain repairs performed in connection with major engine repairs or engine replacements do not qualify.
For timing chain repairs that were made after the powertrain warranty expired but at less than 80,001 miles, the customer may receive reimbursement of 80% of the first $900 of costs paid by the Nissan customer, or receive a voucher in the amount of $1,500 towards the purchase of a new Nissan vehicle.
For vehicles that exceed 80,000 miles but less than 100,001 miles, a Nissan customer may receive reimbursement of 50% of the first $900 of costs paid by the Nissan customer, or a voucher in the amount of $1,000 towards the purchase of a new Nissan vehicle.
For repairs or replacements on vehicles that exceed 100,000 miles but do not exceed 120,000 miles, a Nissan customer may receive reimbursement of 20% of the first $900 of costs paid by the customer, or a voucher in the amount of $500 towards the purchase of a new Nissan vehicle.
Customers who paid for timing chain repairs or replacements made on vehicles above 120,000 miles will receive no compensation under the terms of the settlement. The automaker says it considers 120,000 miles the full life expectancy of a vehicle.
Lawyers for Nissan customers will receive more than $3.2 million.
A final fairness hearing is scheduled with the judge on August 25, 2020.
The Nissan timing chain lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts - Duncan, et al., v. Nissan North American, Inc., et al.
The plaintiffs are represented by Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C., and Stull, Stull & Brody.
CarComplaints.com has complaints from drivers of the vehicles named in the Nissan timing chain lawsuit.