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Defective Automobile

2013 Nissan Sentra

Plaintiff U Can Rent bought fourteen Nissans 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. 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” and that Nissan has been aware of the problem for some time.

2015 Cadillac SRX

The complaint for this class action alleges that the headlights for 2010-2015 Cadillac SRX vehicles are defective, so that they may dim and/or fail in a short time. The complaint claims that the seals in the cars’ headlights wear out or deteriorate, allowing moisture to condense and accumulate, and that the vents are also defective in not allowing a proper flow and exchange of air. According to the complaint, the accumulating condensation can corrode lamp components and cause the headlights to malfunction or the bulbs to dim or fail, within as little as three months after the car is purchased.

Nissan Sentra 2017

The complaint for this class action quotes many online complaints that describe problems with 2012 to 2017 Nissan Sentras that are equipped with Nissan’s Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). According to the complaint, the CVT is prone to premature failure from overheating. The complaint suggests that the temperature of the CVT fluid is controlled by a small cooler attached to the CVT, and that this design makes it “unreasonably sensitive” to heat, which may turn on the vehicle’s Fail-Safe Mode and cause anything from shudders to catastrophic transmission failure where that the driver loses control.

Chrysler Jeep Wrangler

The Chrysler Jeeps in question in this case, for model years 2012 to 2017, have a cylinder head on top of the engine that is made with sand casting. The complaint alleges that the sand is not sufficiently removed but seeps out as the car is driven, working its way through the car’s systems and settling in the heater core, radiator, and oil cooling systems as a thick, reddish, sludge that builds up until the heating and cooling systems stop working properly. Chrysler has refused to pay for repairs required by the problem, the complaint says, claiming that the problem is caused by “external factors” or “misuse” or that the vehicles are out of warranty. However, the complaint points out that buyers cannot know of the defect until the systems actually fail. Among its other claims, it requests a declaration by the court that the repairs should be covered under the Powertrain Warranty and an extension of the Basic Limited Warranty.

Blood on Airbag

Certain car companies are now beginning to settle cases requiring they replace those defective and dangerous Takata airbags. That should be a relief.

Unfortunately, it turns out that other car companies also used Takata-made airbags and have not issued a recall to replace them! Why have they delayed for so long?

Subaru Forester 2013

Six car companies—BMW, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota—have agreed to settlements in a class action alleging that they used defective Takata airbags in their vehicles that, at deployment, could rupture and expel debris or shrapnel into the passenger compartment or otherwise improperly deploy, and that consumers sustained economic losses from this.

2015 Suburban

In the complaint for this class action, Plaintiff Jones Won claims that he purchased five General Motors vehicles—a 2016 Escalade and four 2015 Suburbans—and that the air conditioning system is so defective that it has failed in every one of the vehicles within a few months of purchase. In fact, he claims, in two of the vehicles, it has failed twice. The complaint describes the vehicles’ air conditioning system as having a closed area through which coolant is cycled under pressure, alternately warming and cooling but never used up. However, the complaint alleges, GM uses too much coolant, which overpressurizes the system, and the parts of the system are too weak to stand up to the pressure.

2017 Ford Explorer

According to the complaint, many Ford cars, including 2016-2017 Explorer, 2007-2014 Edge, and 2007-2015 Lincoln MKX vehicles have been sold or leased in a defective and dangerous condition, in that they permit exhaust—including the lethal gas carbon monoxide—to enter the passenger compartment during normal operation of the vehicle.

Ford Transit Van

The complaint for this class action makes the unnerving allegation that the flex disc driveshaft coupling in Ford Transit vans can fail, causing the driveshaft to fall out of the vehicle, pierce the passenger cabin, and/or “pole vault” the vehicle into the air. Oh—and that at the same time, the brakes and engine power may fail, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. While Ford issued a recall because of this defect in 2017, the complaint says it simply replaced worn flex discs with the same defective parts, has no permanent solutions to the problem, and will not reimburse van owners or lessees for damages caused by the failure of the discs.

Ford 2017 Super-Duty Lifted Truck

This class action involves Ford’s “lifted trucks”—that is, trucks that sit higher off the ground than Ford’s regular or “stock trucks” and that have larger tires than stock trucks. The complaint alleges that the jacks and spare tires that come with the lifted trucks are made for the stock trucks, so that the jacks do not lift the trucks high enough to safely change a tire and the spare tires do not fit. It also alleges that the conversion to a lifted truck voids the truck’s normal warranty, something it says was not disclosed to the plaintiff when he bought the truck.

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