— A Nissan transmission lawsuit alleges 2017-2018 Nissan Altima and Nissan Sentra cars are equipped with defective continuously variable transmissions (CVTs).
Alleged transmission problems cause the Nissan vehicles to judder, shudder, clunk, jerk and experience acceleration problems.
According to the Nissan transmission lawsuit:
"This is a class action. Members of the proposed Class, which includes citizens of California, are citizens of states other than Tennessee, where Nissan is headquartered, California, where Nissan North America, Inc., was incorporated until the end of 2021, and Delaware, where Nissan North America, Inc., is newly incorporated."
The CVT class action was filed by Nevada plaintiff Minerva Martinez who purchased a new 2017 Nissan Altima in April 2017. As of September 29, 2021, the mileage on the vehicle was approximately 70,000 miles.
The Altima began experiencing loss of power, failure to accelerate and the feeling of the car not stopping even when she was not applying the gas pedal. She also says the vehicle didn't accelerate even when she applied pressure to the accelerator pedal.
In September 2020 when the Nissan Altima had 51,644 miles on it, the plaintiff took the car to a dealership and told them the car sometimes lost power when accelerating and going uphill.
The plaintiff says she told the dealer the loss of power and failure to accelerate was so extreme that she felt as though the brakes were engaging even though her foot was pressing down on the accelerator.
The Nissan transmission lawsuit says service records indicate the technician verified Ms. Martinez’ complaint and reprogrammed the transmission control module. However, this allegedly did not fix the transmission problems.
In January 2021, the Altima allegedly suffered from delayed acceleration when it lurched forward into another vehicle, causing the plaintiff to return the car to the Nissan dealer when the car had 59,905 miles on the odometer.
"According to the service records and despite Ms. Martinez’ complaint, Nissan mischaracterized the complaint as one involving brakes and refused to diagnose or attempt to repair the transmission safety issue. This refusal was despite Nissan’s keeping Ms. Martinez’ vehicle at the dealership for thirty-three (33) days." — Nissan transmission lawsuit
Because she didn't believe the crash incident was caused by brake problems, the plaintiff claims she is afraid the Altima will suffer more transmission problems. The plaintiff says she purchased an extended service contract for $2,836 when the dealer returned her vehicle.
Nissan Transmission Lawsuit Blames Coolers
The Nissan transmission lawsuit alleges the vehicles were designed and/or built with inadequate cooling systems and faulty coolers. The class action asserts the transmission fluid temperature is controlled by a small cooler instead of a radiator.
The plaintiff claims the cooler is too small or poorly manufactured and does not properly regulate the CVT fluid temperature. The fluid is supposed to lubricate the transmission components including the valves, pulleys and belts.
This allegedly causes the Nissan transmission to overheat which activates a mode for transmission fluid temperature to reduce the performance of the CVT. The lawsuit alleges this is when Nissan vehicles jerk, shudder, fail to accelerate and eventually suffer transmission failures.
According to the Nissan transmission lawsuit, the automaker has allegedly known about the CVT problems since at least 2013 and has issued technical service bulletins to its dealerships about the transmissions.
The Nissan class action further alleges even when Nissan replaces the transmission, the automaker uses a defective CVT as the replacement transmission.
"Had Nissan disclosed the CVT Defect to Plaintiff and Class Members, they would not have purchased the Class Vehicles, would have paid less for them, and/or would have required Nissan to replace or pay for the replacement of the defective CVT with a non-defective version before their warranty periods expired." — Nissan transmission lawsuit
In October 2021, Nissan and customers in five lawsuits reached a settlement agreement in a consolidated transmission class action lawsuit involving 2014-2018 Nissan Rogue, 2015-2018 Nissan Pathfinder and 2015-2018 Infiniti QX60 vehicles.
The Nissan Altima and Sentra transmission lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California: Minerva Martinez, v. Nissan North America, Inc.
The plaintiff is represented by Miller Shah LLP, Capstone Law APC, Maddox & Cisneros, LLP, Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP.