Plaintiff U Can Rent bought fourteen Nissans: nine 2013 Sentras, one 2013 Juke, and four 2014 Jukes, all equipped with Nissan’s continuously variable transmission (CVT). Nissan markets the CVT as being new and better, but according to the complaint for this class action, it is in fact defective and even dangerous.
Two classes have been proposed for this action. The Consumer Class is all consumer residents in the US who own, owned, lease, or leased an Affected Vehicle. The Business Class is all entities and businesses in the US who own, owned, lease, or leased an Affected Vehicle. The Affected Vehicles are those in which Nissan installed its CVT.
The complaint alleges that Nissan advertised the CVT as being new and more durable and dependable than other transmissions, saying it “has fewer moving parts, which can reduce friction, and consequently heat.” It went on to say that friction plus heat equaled “wear and tear on your transmission. Reduced exposure to friction and heat can help a transmission last longer.”
However, the complaint claims that with fewer than 20,000 miles on the vehicles, they began having issues such as engine revving and delays while the car was transitioning between gears, and shaking. The complaint also alleges that the CVT would “jump, start, stop, bind, and lag unexpectedly, dangerously, and inappropriately” which cost U Can in a loss of goodwill, extra maintenance bills, and decreased revenue.
Plaintiff Pamela Pritchett also claims that her 2013 Sentra’s CVT would “jump, start, stop, bind, and lag unexpectedly, dangerously, and inappropriately.” The CVT finally failed, the complaint says, and because it was no longer under warranty, she would have had to pay $4,500 to replace the transmission—with an identical defective one.
Although both plaintiffs complained to Nissan service centers about the problems, but were told that there was nothing wrong with the vehicles.
However, some dealerships have acknowledged that similar vehicles with the CVT experience similar problems, the complaint claims, and Nissan has not only received many consumer complaints but has issued Technical Service Bulletins related to the problem. The complaint claims that these facts plus the many complaints in online forums mean that Nissan must have been aware of the problem.
In fact, the complaint says, Nissan previously conducted an extended warranty “CVT Customer Satisfaction Program” in response to similar issues in 2007-2010 Sentras and other vehicles, but it did not extend the program to the plaintiffs’ model-year vehicles.
The complaint claims that Nissan’s actions amount to various counts of breach of warranty, among other things.