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Nissan 2013-2014 Altima Defective Transmission Class Action

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2014 Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima 2013-2014vehicles contain defective continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVTs). The complaint for this class action claims that the CVTs are defective, however, and lead to hazards on the road and eventual transmission failure. 

The class for this action is all persons who bought or leased a 2013 or 2014 Nissan Altima for end use and not for resale. Alternatively, it proposes a California class. 

In 2013, plaintiff Christopher Gann bought a new 2013 Nissan Altima with an Xtronic CVT. He claims it frequently exhibited “the shuddering defect.”

The complaint describes it this way: “When the shuddering occurs, momentum of the Subject Vehicle is suddenly lost, the rate of speed drops or the vehicle stalls, and the brake lights do not illuminate. The defect is especially dangerous because it manifests when the driver presses the accelerator. Just when the driver attempts to accelerate, nothing occurs. This is sometimes followed by an unexpected surge of power.”

Gann says his Altima repeatedly showed this defect, “including juddering while driving and an acceleration delay with slow response time while getting up to speed.” On December 3, 2016, the complaint claims, while Gann was driving, the car began juddering and then stalled completely. Gann was unable to restart it, the complaint says, and had it towed to the dealership where he’d bought it.

The dealership charged him $3,754.49 to replace the CVT, the complaint says, but the vehicle continues to judder during driving and to experience delayed acceleration. 

The complaint charges that the CVT is defective and cites hundreds of complaints made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most regarding the CVT’s problems. It quotes some of them:

  • “While I was in motion on a major interstate the vehicle began to lose power, spudder [sic] and jerk, and dropped down to about 10-15 mph.”
  •  “I was stopped at a red light and the car just turned itself off. I turn it back on and a soon as I put it in drive it turns itself off again. … Now 3 months after I get a brand new transmission it’s doing the same thing again.”
  • “First the engine shut off while driving without any warning or signs on highway. Then after reprogramming of the transmission by the dealer, car runs abnormally. Engine RPM unstable, unpredictable, causing speed changes. No pedal response or slow acceleration.”

But the complaint says that Nissan promoted the CVT as a major selling point, touting its “smoothness.” The complaint quotes a press kit for the 2014 vehicle as saying it had improved “drivability and responsiveness” because of the CVT. 

But the complaint says Nissan knew quite well that the CVT had problems because it had already failed in countermeasures meant to resolve the problems. The complaint claims that Nissan has violated warranties, among other things.

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