By: Brett Shainfeld

A Vehicle’s Transmission Is The Biggest Mechanical Failure

Ask any vehicle owner what their biggest car mechanical failure is, and a wide swath of respondents will point immediately towards one thing: the transmission. A critical component of motor vehicle operation, transmission damage or malfunction can leave a vehicle stranded on the side of the road or acting erratically, leading to an accident and potential injury. It’s one of the last things you want to have happened to a motor vehicle, and a major reason why buyers look towards new vehicles with comprehensive warranties to insulate from such occurrences.

It’s this fear of transmission failure that has affected many owners of the 2012-2016 Nissan Sentra. While in the news for an automatic braking lawsuit that affected 2015-2018 Nissan Sentras, stemming from an error in which the vehicle may automatically break without driver instigation and for no apparent reason, fellow Sentra owners from similar and earlier models have been experiencing woes of a different sort.

Initial reports suggested that a defect, affecting models within a five-year span between 2012 and 2016, was causing a malfunction to the continuously variable transmission (CVT). This can, among other things, cause temporary loss of power and total failures of the CVTs, a particularly dangerous situation while on the road or traveling at high speeds on the highway.

Consumers have reported multiple instances of CVT failure, with frightening details of the incidents. The result is a Nissan transmission lawsuit, with banding together with legal services to file a class-action lawsuit against the company for damages, requesting action be taken to protect consumers and purchasers of the Nissan Sentra.

What are the details of the Nissan transmission lawsuit? Does your vehicle fall under the parameters? What complaints have already occurred, and what legal action is available to you? Let’s delve a little bit further into the Nissan CVT transmission class action lawsuit.

The Details of the Nissan Transmission Lawsuit

As previously stated, the class action lawsuit centers around the CVT, which is contained inside most of the Nissan Sentra models outlined. The issues typically stem from no fault of the consumer. The issue of a faulty CVT is that it can cause an array of issues including, but not limited to, slow response time, shaking and stuttering, overheating, difficulty accelerating, coolant leaks, loud and/or whining noises emanating from the engine, and, possibly most concerning of all, the sudden loss of power to the vehicle.

The continuously variable transmission is the culprit in the majority of these complaints, an ironic turn considering that the CVT was invented and installed with the goal of creating smoother gear shifting. The result has been that a number of consumers have been in and out of dealerships and automotive shops in an effort to fix the issue, leaving them off the road and trying to figure out how to get their newly-purchased vehicle back into working order.

To go a little deeper into the Nissan transmission lawsuit, let’s look at some plaintiff testimony from public records of the Nissan CVT transmission class action lawsuit.

Complaints from Consumers

Numerous consumers have come forward to express their stories about the Nissan CVT transmission failure, including several that are quite shocking. As stated, many drivers have reported that their engines completely shut off while driving in the middle of traffic or along the freeway, both of which can be incredibly dangerous and precarious situations. Multiple consumers have reported the problem to Nissan by way of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA).

Here’s a brief list of complaints issued to the NHTSA by plaintiffs in the Nissan transmission lawsuit:

  • “Sudden, unexpected shaking and violent jerking when drivers attempt to accelerate”
  • “Engine stalled on the interstate while traveling at 70 mph. Stalled again about an hour later at 30 mph.”
  • “… while driving 70 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was merged to the side of the road and failed to accelerate until the economy mode was turned off. The failure recurred on numerous occasions.”

The NHTSA has accumulated numerous complaints, and many have been made public during the initial stages of the class action Nissan transmission lawsuit trial. As far as the Nissan transmission lawsuit itself, here are the updates up until now…

Nissan CVT Transmission Class Action Lawsuit Updates

As drivers attempt to get restitution for their vehicles, a class action lawsuit against Nissan has unfolded in the courts. Plaintiffs in the case amended their original complaint as Nissan was able to successfully argue and dismiss claims for breach of implied warranty and unjust enrichment. When plaintiffs amended their complaint, Nissan pushed to have the amended complaint further trimmed.

“Plaintiffs’ equitable claims were specifically dismissed ‘without leave to amend,’ as the court held that, ‘plaintiffs have an adequate remedy at law, and consequently are barred from seeking equitable relief,’” noted Nissan, in their attempt to have the case dismissed. “Yet the same equitable relief claims appear in the [amended suit].”

A federal judge trimmed the lawsuit, but plaintiffs were given the opportunity to amend their complaint as it relates to their claims under Ohio law. Nissan claims that plaintiffs are trying to reargue claims that the judge has already dismissed without the chance to amend. Nissan’s primary argument is that plaintiffs do not name a specific transmission defect and that if there is a defect, it’s a design defect that isn’t covered by the warranty.

The CVT warranty had been extended for certain vehicles, which include the Nissan Sentra. The powertrain warranty rose from 5 years/60,000 miles to 10 years/120,000 miles, whichever is to come first. However, this only covers the 2007-2010 Nissan Sentras.

As the Nissan Sentra CVT transmission lawsuit continues on, Shainfeld Law is here to hear your claims and provide legal advice to Nissan Sentra owners that may be experiencing vehicle problems that sound similar to that described in the lawsuit. If you own a Sentra and have experienced a sudden loss of power on the highway, shaking and noises emanating from the engine that seems unnatural to the vehicle, you may have legal recourse to have these issues resolved. Shainfeld Law is here to ensure that your consumer rights are protected, including from California Lemon Law vehicles, and that you feel safe and secure driving in your vehicle. Feel free to reach out about more information and see what legal actions may be available to you!