|Recall for Nissan Transmission Failures? NCCC Petitions for Investigation.|
NCCC has received a number of complaints from consumers in regards to sudden, catastrophic transmission failures in 2005-2010 Nissan Pathfinder, Frontier and Xterra vehicles and have requested that NHTSA conduct a defect investigation. They report a complete loss of motive power and needing to be towed to a dealership. They report in all instances that the dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed transmission fluid cooler located in the radiator assembly that allowed coolant to mix with and contaminate the automatic transmission fluid, resulting in damaged internal transmission components and a damaged internal transmission computer. The complainants report no warning signs leading up to or just prior to the failures.
NCCC has learned from website searches and through the NHTSA website of many other complaints in the subject vehicles similar to the complaints we have received. Website data and NHTSA reports usually list the same symptoms and note the same lack of warning signs. Numerous complaints on the NHTSA website note repeat oil cooler failures and transmission failures related to coolant contamination from the radiator oil cooler assembly.
Useless Extended Warranty?
We have learned that sometime in late 2007 Nissan Motor Corporation issued a warranty extension for the transmission oil cooler / radiator assembly for the subject vehicles to 8 years, 80000 miles – up from the standard 3 year, 36000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. Nissan Motor Corporation, to our knowledge, has not been conducting any preventative inspections of the subject vehicles to help consumers prevent catastrophic transmission failure. Consumers report that Nissan Motor Corporation is denying their warranty claims and as a 'courtesy measure' will offer to replace the failed oil cooler at a discount.
NCCC has learned of a class action lawsuit filed in 2010 by Mendelsohn and Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman on behalf of clients relating to this alleged defect. They claim that Nissan asserts that no safety defect exists.
NCCC has also learned of an extension to the original extended warranty sometime in October 2012, possibly as a result of our petition. With the additional extension, the vehicles are covered up to ten years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, with up to $3000 deductible. Damage to the transmission as a result of the defective cooler is covered, yet consumers are still reporting to us that Nissan is still outright denying warranty claims on transmissions affected by this condition. The additional two years or 20,000 miles with a $3000 deductible is, at most, a sad joke at the expense of consumers. Nissan has been aware of this problem since 2007 and has undertaken no preventive measures to protect consumers from failure.
More Needs to Happen
Through our investigation into the matter, all of the vehicles experiencing these failures are within the 8 year period specified by the extended warranty but are often beyond the 80000 mile limit. It also appears that the number of reported defects is increasing, which is concerning to say the least. Due to the nature of the reported defect, the severity of the reported failures, the repetitive nature of the failures and the limited or missing failure warning signs, we believe that an investigation is warranted. Extending a warranty for a short period of time a limited mileage that most consumers breeze through in a few years in order to avoid a recall is not good for repeat business.
"Simply extending the warranty coverage for the radiator without warning consumers of the consequences to the transmission only makes sense to me if Nissan is looking to cut their losses," continues Reitter. "Why didn't Nissan warn consumers that the transmission could fail very quickly as a result of a cracked cooler tube? How many consumers must needlessly suffer transmission failures in busy intersections and on busy, congested highways before Nissan does the ethical thing and issues a safety recall?"
How Can You Help?
Members may remember other NCCC petitions, including some for Saturn L-Series tail light failures and catastrophic timing chain failures that resulted in the recalls of hundreds of thousands of vehicles. NCCC believes in accountability for all consumer products, even when accountability means a loss of money for the manufacturer. Companies should stand by the products they sell, not abandon them to the consumer's pocketbook.
NCCC encourages consumers to continue reporting this defect and other safety defects to NHTSA. Please include your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in your complaint if possible.
Get the word out! Click one of the like or share buttons in this article and share it with your friends! The more people on board with this issue, the better the chances of corrective action happening!
Last Updated: EDT