February 6, 2012
Go to: http://www.dontbuynissan.com
I have renamed and rebranded this website. Please go to: http://www.dontbuynissan.com for all new updates.
This blog is to provide information to make an educated decision as to why you "DON'T BUY NISSAN". It's also to provide a place to compile information for lawyers to file a class action lawsuit against Nissan & Hitachi Automotive, for Nissan owners to file a small claims lawsuit (max in CA is $10,000 now), and for the media and organizations to help spread the word about the danger of Nissan Sentras.
January 29, 2012
EPA EMISSIONS WARRANTIES FOR 1995 AND NEWER CARS & TRUCKS
I just found this document that explains the EPA emissions warranties with help from a legal forum. It can be found here: http://www.epa.gov/oms/consumer/warr95fs.txt
The Emissions Control parts that are covered include the “the electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU)” and the “electronic control module (unit),” both of which have been reported on my invoices, as well as the “EFI air flow meter” which also has had problems.
Here is the document:
United States Air and Radiation EPA420-F-96-020 Environmental Protection March 1996 Agency Office of Mobile Sources --------------------------------------------------------------------- EPA Environmental Fact Sheet --------------------------------------------------------------------- EMISSIONS WARRANTIES FOR 1995 AND NEWER CARS & TRUCKS Federally required emission control warranties protect you, the vehicle owner, from the cost of repairs for certain emission related failures that result from manufacturer defects in materials and workmanship or that cause your vehicle to exceed federal emission standards. Manufacturers have been required by federal law to provide emission control coverage for vehicles since 1972. There are two federal emission control warranties discussed in this fact sheet: (A) "Performance Warranty" and (B) "Design and Defect Warranty". This fact sheet explains each warranty in detail, provides you with a list of some of the parts covered under these warranties, explains the procedures for making an emissions warranty claim, and answers some of the most commonly asked questions about emissions warranties. Finally, we will give you some tips on how to prevent future emission-related failures and maintain the longevity of your vehicle's engine. A. PERFORMANCE WARRANTY The Performance Warranty covers repairs which are required during the first 2 years or 24,000 miles of vehicle use because the vehicle failed an emission test. Specified major emission control components are covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles. If you are a resident of an area with an Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) program that meets federal guidelines, you are eligible for this warranty protection provided that: * Your car or light-duty truck fails an approved emissions test; and * Your vehicle is less than 2 years old and has less than 24,000 miles (up to 8 years/80,000 miles for certain components); and * Your state or local government requires that you repair the vehicle; and * The test failure does not result from misuse of the vehicle or a failure to follow the manufacturers' written maintenance instructions; and * You present the vehicle to a warranty-authorized manufacturer representative, along with evidence of the emission test failure, during the warranty period. During the first 2 years/24,000 miles, the Performance Warranty covers any repair or adjustment which is necessary to make your vehicle pass an approved, locally-required emission test and as long as your vehicle has not exceeded the warranty time or mileage limitations and has been properly maintained according to the manufacturer's specifications. B. DESIGN AND DEFECT WARRANTY The Design and Defect Warranty covers repair of emission related parts which become defective during the warranty period. The Design and Defect warranty for model year 1995 and newer light-duty cars and trucks is outlined below: Design and Defect Warranty Coverage for 1995 and newer light-duty vehicles: * Emission control and emission related parts are covered for the first 2 years or 24,000 miles of vehicle use; and * Specified major emission control components are covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use. According to federal law, an emission control or emission related part, or a specified major emission control component, that fails because of a defect in materials or workmanship, must be repaired or replaced by the vehicle manufacturer free of charge as long as the vehicle has not exceeded the warranty time or mileage limitations for the failed part. Design and Defect Warranty coverage may vary depending on the type of vehicle you have (e.g., heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles or recreational vehicles have different time and mileage requirements). To determine the length of warranty coverage that applies to your vehicle, look for the emissions warranty information in your owner's manual or warranty booklet. If you own a California vehicle, you may be entitled to additional warranty coverage. The owner's manual or warranty booklet will also provide you with guidance on the procedures for obtaining warranty coverage. If you have questions about the emissions warranties on your vehicle or need help in filing a warranty claim, contact your local car dealer or the manufacturer's zone or regional representative listed in your owner's manual or warranty booklet. What Emission Control and Emission Related Parts Are Covered by The Design and Defect Warranty? An emission control part is any part installed with the primary purpose of controlling emissions. An emission related part is any part that has an effect on emissions. Listed below are some examples of parts or systems which fall under these definitions. A more complete list can be found in your owner's manual/warranty booklet. If any of the parts listed below fail to function or function improperly because of a defect in materials or workmanship, causing your vehicle to exceed federal emission standards, they should be repaired or replaced under the emissions warranty if your vehicle is less than 2 years old and has been driven less than 24,000 miles. One manufacturer may use more parts than another, so the following list is not complete for all vehicles. EMISSION CONTROL PARTS Exhaust Gas Conversion Systems oxygen sensor thermal reactor catalytic converter dual-walled exhaust pipe Exhaust Gas Recirculation System EGR valve thermal vacuum switch EGR solenoid EGR spacer plate EGR backpressure transducer Sensor and switches use to control EGR flow Evaporative Emission Control System purge valve fuel filler cap purge solenoid vapor storage canister and filter Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) System PCV valve PCV solenoid Air Injection System Air pump diverter, bypass, or gulp valve reed valve anti-backfire or deceleration valve Early Fuel Evaporative (EFE) System EFE valve thermal vacuum switch heat riser valve Fuel Metering System electronic control module (unit) or EFI air flow meter, computer command module or mixture control unit, deceleration controls, electronic choke, fuel injectors, fuel injection units and fuel altitude compensator sensor, bars or rails for EFI or TBI systems, mixture settings on sealed fuel mixture control solenoid, diaphragm or other systems, fuel metering components that achieve closed/other feedback control sensors/loop operation switches and valves Air Induction System thermostatically controlled air cleaner, air box Ignition Systems electronic spark advance timing advance/retard systems, high energy electronic ignition Miscellaneous Parts hoses, gaskets, brackets, clamps and other accessories used in the above systems EMISSION RELATED PARTS These are examples of other parts of your vehicle which have a primary purpose other than emissions control but which nevertheless have significant effects on your vehicle's emissions. If any of these parts fail to function or function improperly, your vehicle's emissions may exceed federal standards. Therefore, when any of the parts of the following systems are defective in materials or workmanship and have failed in a way that would be likely to cause your vehicle's emissions to exceed federal standards, they should be repaired or replaced under the emissions warranty: Fuel Injection System fuel distributor Air Induction System turbocharger intake manifold Exhaust System exhaust manifold Ignition System distributor spark plugs ignition wires and coil Miscellaneous Parts hoses, gaskets, brackets, clamps, and other accessories used in the above systems. What Are Specified Major Emission Control Components? There are three specified major emission control components, covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use on 1995 and newer vehicles: * Catalytic converters. * The electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU). * The onboard emissions diagnostic device or computer (OBD). Catalytic converters are critical emission control components that have been installed on most cars and trucks manufactured since 1975. Since engines don't burn fuel completely during the combustion process, the exhaust contains a significant amount of harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and oxides of nitrogen. The catalytic converter aids the conversion of these pollutants to less harmful substances such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrogen, and oxygen before the exhaust is expelled into the environment. The electronic emissions control unit or computer monitors certain powertrain functions and controls various operating parameters to help the vehicle run efficiently and with the lowest possible emissions. Ignition, transmission function, air injection, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), engine operating temperature and fuel system parameters are some of the systems monitored and/or controlled by the electronic emissions control unit. The onboard emissions diagnostic device monitors the operation of a vehicle's emission control system and alerts the driver with a dashboard light when malfunctions occur. The system will record where the problem is occurring and assist automotive technicians in diagnosing and repairing emission control malfunctions. Since some emission control malfunctions do not have an adverse effect on vehicle performance, they can go undetected by the driver for quite some time. The onboard diagnostic device will help catch malfunctions early, preventing a significant output of harmful exhaust emissions from your vehicle, and possibly in time to be covered by the emissions control warranty. Often this "device" is part of the electronic control unit mentioned above. In the future, there may be other parts or components that qualify for this coverage. Check your owner's manual or warranty book for possible additional coverage. How Long Do the Emissions Warranties Apply to Individual Parts of My Vehicle? For 1995 and newer model year vehicles, emission control and emission related parts are warranted for the first 2 years or 24,000 miles of vehicle use. Specified major emission-control components are warranted for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use. Parts with a stated replacement interval, such as, "replace at 15,000 miles or 12 months," are warranted up to the first replacement point only. How Do I Know Whether I Am Entitled to Coverage Under the Emissions Warranties? If you or a qualified automotive technician can show that an emission control or emission related component, or a specified major, emission-control component, is defective, the repair or replacement of the part is probably covered under the Design and Defect warranty. If your vehicle failed a federally approved emissions test and has not exceeded the time and mileage limitations for the Performance warranty, any repairs or adjustments necessary for your vehicle to pass should be covered by the manufacturer if the failure was not caused by improper maintenance or abuse. When you believe you have identified a defective part, or your vehicle fails an emission test, you should follow the procedures for making a warranty claim as identified by the manufacturer in your owner's manual or warranty booklet. When taking your vehicle in to have repairs performed under the Performance Warranty, be sure to have with you a copy of the I/M test report as proof of your emissions test failure. May I Have My Regular Repair Facility Perform Warranty Repairs? If you plan to have the manufacturer pay for a repair under either of the emissions warranties, you must take the vehicle to a facility authorized by the vehicle manufacturer for repair to give them the opportunity to diagnose and repair it. Note that if your regular repair facility is not authorized by the vehicle manufacturer, they are not obligated to advise you of parts that are covered under warranty. Before giving your automotive technician the "go ahead" to perform repairs, check your owner's manual/warranty booklet for possible warranty coverage. Do the Emissions Warranties Apply to Used Vehicles? Yes. It does not matter if you bought your vehicle new or used from a dealer or anyone else. As long as the vehicle has not exceeded the warranty time or mileage limitations, these warranties apply. IMPORTANT NOTE: Before buying a used vehicle, be sure that all of the emission control components as originally installed by the manufacturer are present and functioning properly. If emission control components are missing or have been tampered with, or the configuration of the exhaust system has been changed, the emissions warranties on this vehicle may be void. In addition, if you live in an area with an I/M program, the vehicle will probably not pass inspection and you will incur the expense of parts or repairs necessary for the vehicle to pass. Can Any Portion of An Emissions Warranty Repair Be Charged to Me? If you have valid warranty claim, you cannot be charged for any costs associated with the diagnosis or repair of the problem, including labor charges, parts, or miscellaneous items that are necessary to complete the repair. For example, if a manufacturer agrees to replace a catalytic converter under the emissions warranty, you should not be charged for the diagnosis of the bad converter, or any pipes, brackets, adjustments, or labor needed to complete the replacement. What Reasons Can the Manufacturer Use to Deny a Warranty Claim? If your vehicle is within the age and mileage limits for the applicable emissions warranty, the manufacturer can only deny coverage if evidence shows that you have failed to properly maintain and use your vehicle, causing the part or emission test failure. Some examples of misuse and malmaintenance include the following: * vehicle abuse such as off-road driving or overloading; or * tampering with emission control parts or systems, including removal or intentional damage of such parts or systems; or * improper maintenance, including failure to follow maintenance schedules and instructions specified by manufacturer, or use of replacement parts which are not equivalent to the originally installed parts. What Should I Do If My First Attempt to Obtain Warranty Coverage Is Denied? If your first attempt to receive emissions warranty coverage is denied, you should do the following: 1) Ask for a detailed explanation, in writing as to why emissions warranty coverage was denied; and 2) Ask for the name(s) of the person(s) involved in the decision to deny coverage, including anyone from the manufacturer's regional or zone office; and 3) Ask for the name(s) of the person(s) with the manufacturer you should contact to appeal the denial of coverage under the emissions warranty. 4) Contact and, if necessary, write to the person mentioned above requesting coverage and giving the basis for your request. Repeat and continue the appeal process until you are satisfied or have exhausted all means of appeal. What If the Dealer Claims That My Vehicle Can Pass the I/M Test Without Repair? The law does not require that you fail every I/M test in order to trigger the warranty. If a valid test shows that you have an emission problem or there is a defective part, you should get it fixed, while your vehicle is still within the warranty period. Otherwise, you might fail a future test because of the same problem and have to pay for the repair yourself. If you doubt your original test results or the dealer's results or diagnosis, you can always get another opinion from another dealer or your I/M program. How Can Maintenance Affect My Emission Warranty Coverage? Performance and the cost of scheduled maintenance are your responsibility. You may either perform scheduled maintenance yourself or have a qualified repair facility perform it for you. If a part fails as a direct result of your vehicle not being properly maintained or being used in a manner inconsistent with the manufacturer's recommendations, or a part fails as a result of the vehicle being involved in an accident, the manufacturer may not be required to repair or replace the failed part under warranty. For example, failure to replace the spark plugs at the intervals specified in the maintenance schedule can lead to misfiring and eventual damage to your catalytic converter - a very expensive part to replace. If the maintenance is not performed properly as recommended, the manufacturer may deny warranty coverage. To ensure maximum air pollution reduction from the emission control system, as well as to ensure continued warranty coverage, better gas mileage and performance, and longer vehicle life, you should have all maintenance performed as recommended by the manufacturer's schedule. A list of scheduled maintenance for your vehicle can be found in the owner's manual or warranty booklet. Do I Have to Show Any Maintenance Receipts Before I Can Make an Emissions Warranty Claim? No. Proof of maintenance is not required in order to obtain coverage under the emissions warranty if an emission control or emission related component, or a specified major emission control component, is found to be defective in materials or workmanship. However, when it is likely that the lack of proper maintenance has caused the particular part to fail, you may be asked to show that scheduled maintenance was performed. If you perform scheduled maintenance yourself, you should keep a detailed log of work performed and any receipts for parts purchased to perform the maintenance. In some instances, you may be asked to qualify your ability to perform such maintenance. Vehicles should always be maintained according to manufacturers' specifications. Are Dealers the Only Persons Allowed to Perform Scheduled Maintenance Recommended by the Manufacturer? No. Scheduled maintenance may be performed by anyone who has the knowledge and ability to perform the maintenance and repair. You may even maintain the vehicle yourself, as long as the maintenance is performed according to the manufacturer's instructions provided with the vehicle. For your protection, before taking your vehicle to a repair facility to have any maintenance performed, check your maintenance booklet and make a list of the scheduled maintenance to be performed at that time. We suggest that you present this list to your auto technician as opposed to merely asking for a "tune-up" or a "12,000 miles servicing." Your receipt should list all the maintenance performed and should be kept for your records. If you maintain the vehicle yourself, you should keep receipts for parts and a maintenance log to verify your work. If I Need Replacement Parts, Must I Use the Vehicle Manufacturer's Parts Only? No. A manufacturer cannot require the use of any specific brand of parts in the maintenance of your vehicle. However, the manufacturer can require you to use parts that are of equal quality to the original parts. If I Buy a Used Vehicle, How Do I Know Whether It Has Been Maintained According to The Maintenance Schedule? The best way to learn whether the vehicle has been maintained according to its schedule is to ask the seller for receipts proving that all of the scheduled maintenance was performed. Having the receipts on hand will provide necessary evidence if the question of maintenance arises when considering repairs under warranty. To prevent any loss of your vehicle's emission performance, you should continue to follow the maintenance schedule in the owner's manual or warranty booklet. If the seller does not have the owner's manual, warranty booklet or maintenance schedule, you can obtain them from the manufacturer. How Will I Know If My Claim Has Been Accepted As Valid? After you present your vehicle for a Performance Warranty claim, the manufacturer has 30 days to either repair the vehicle or notify you in writing that the claim has been denied. If you are making a Performance Warranty claim and your I/M program imposes a shorter repair deadline, the manufacturer must meet the deadline. Because of the significance of these deadlines, you should get written verification from the dealer showing that they acknowledge the date by which repairs must be made. There are no specific requirements for Defect Warranty claims, however, manufacturer responses should be made within a reasonable time period. What Happens If the Manufacturer Does Not Respond to My Performance Warranty Claim Within the 30-Day Deadline? You may agree to extend the deadline, or it will be automatically extended if the delay was beyond the control of the manufacturer. Otherwise, a missed deadline means the manufacturer forfeits the right to deny the claim. You may then have the repair performed at a facility of your choice, at the manufacturer's expense. (This requirement only applies to Performance Warranty claims.) What Do I Do If the Manufacturer Will Not Honor What I Believe to Be a Valid Emissions Warranty Claim? If you believe the manufacturer has not honored a valid claim and your vehicle has not exceeded the time and mileage limitations, you should contact an authorized warranty representative and follow the procedures outlined in your owner's manual or warranty booklet. If the authorized dealer denies your warranty claim, contact the manufacturer's regional or zone office for further assistance. If you are still not satisfied, follow the appeals procedure outlined in your manual or warranty booklet. Of course, you are entitled to pursue any independent legal actions you consider appropriate to obtain coverage under the emissions warranties. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is authorized to investigate the failure of manufacturers to comply with the terms of these warranties. If you have followed the manufacturer's procedures (including those for appeals) for making a warranty claim as set out in your owner's manual or warranty booklet, have received a written denial and you are not satisfied with the manufacturer's determination, you may submit a letter to EPA at the following address. It should provide details of the situation including the basis for the claim, a copy of the written denial, copies of your letters to the manufacturers, and copies of any receipts for emission control parts and repairs you have paid for: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Vehicle Programs & Compliance Division (6405J) Attn: Warranty Complaints 401 M Street, SW Washington, DC 20460 Other sources of assistance may be your local or State consumer protection agency or office of the Attorney General. You also should be aware that low-cost or free legal assistance may be available through a local legal aid office, the State bar association, or a law school clinic staffed by law students. In Summary If an emission control or emission related part, or a specified major emission control component is defective, or if your vehicle fails an I/M test, and your vehicle is within the time and mileage limitations for emissions warranty coverage: * Present a warranty claim to an authorized warranty representative. If your warranty claim is denied: * Ask for the reason for denial, in writing. * Follow the appeal procedures in your owner's manual. If you are not satisfied with the manufacturer's decision: * Contact the EPA, which will investigate the denial of a valid emissions warranty complaint. Keep This With Your Vehicle for Future Reference.
January 28, 2012
Contacts section updated with Nissan Consumer Affairs contacts
I wanted to make it easy for others to contact Nissan Consumer Affairs if you are experiencing the same problems over and over again like me. These will stay in the contact tab above, and here they are as well:
Nissan Corporate/Consumer Affairs Contacts:
If you are having problems with your Nissan, below are some contacts I’ve been dealing with over the past 4 years in Consumer Affairs at the Corporate office in TN. If you call in with a problem they should open a file each time, so you want to make sure to get that file number for your records to prove you’ve opened a case with Nissan Corporate. Take very detailed notes of everything they say, because I’ve been lied to numerous times by representatives of Nissan (discussed here: Trust and Accountability) so if your case ever goes to court, or even to put together a detailed file like mine, detailed notes including date and time you spoke to people help create a legal record.
Nissan North America, Inc.
Escalation Team Supervisor, Consumer Affairs
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and I do not offer legal advice; any advice or suggestions should be researched by you and decisions made based on your own research.
January 27, 2012
According to Nissan’s own warranty, Nissan should replace or refund my car
Here is a copy of the warranty printed on the back of Power Nissan’s service invoice:
Nissan warranty (click to download pdf)
According to Nissan’s own warranty, Nissan should replace or refund my Sentra. My argument is best explained in the letter I emailed to Anna Naraeva at Nissan Consumer Affairs, Escalation Team:
January 25, 2012
Attn: Anna Naraeaa
CC: Melody Benedict & Mary Baumgartner
Nissan Motor Corporation
Tel. 615-725-7376 (Anna), 7514 (Melody), 7255 (Mary)
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, mary.Baumgartner@nissanusa.com
Re: Request for Settlement
Dear Anna Naraeaa,
As you well know, my 2002 Nissan Sentra SE-R has been into three different Nissan dealerships 18 times since 2005 for the same or similar electrical problems which include the car shutting down and idling problems and this defect has not been fixed.
According to Nissan’s own Warranty expressly stated on the back of their service invoices:
NISSAN MOTOR CORPORATION … Gardena, CA …warrants all genuine NISSAN replacement parts and accessories… and all of the competent parts thereof, to be free from defects in material of workmanship under normal use, service and maintenance for 12,000 miles or 12 months…if a defect exists within the warranty period, the warranty will not expire until the defect has been fixed. The warranty period will also be extended if the warranty repairs… did not remedy the defect.
The electrical defect in my car still exists as of the breakdown 12/30/11 & 12/31/11 and the defect has never been fixed since I paid Nissan to fix this defect on 8/23/08, 1/09/09 and again on 1/28/09. Each time my car has broken down less than 12 months/12,000 miles, therefore the warranty continued to be extended and is still in effect today because the electrical defect in my car is not fixed.
Nissan’s own warranty policy continues: “If, after a reasonable number of attempts, the defect has not been fixed, the buyer may return this product for a replacement or a refund…” 18 times is absolutely “a reasonable number of attempts” therefore Nissan should offer me a replacement (meaning a new Sentra SE-R) or a refund/settlement.
I am currently in talks with attorneys who believe I have a strong case. I also have the option of filing a small claims lawsuit against Nissan in which the maximum is now $10,000 in CA, and if I am forced to do that, I will continue to publish my progress on my website (www.dontbuynissan.com) just like Heather Peters v. Honda Motor Corp (http://www.dontsettlewithhonda.org). I believe in addition to the repairs and cost of the car, if this case goes to court, Nissan will also be responsible for consequential damages such as gas, bus fare, mileage, loss of use (90 days out of service), and loss of income due to both not having a car and time spent dealing with Nissan, in addition to the bad publicity.
I wish to settle this amicably though and that can be accomplished through a settlement/buyback. You have until the close of business day Friday, January 27, to make a settlement offer (or at least begin the talks). If I don’t hear from you or a representative of Nissan from close of business day on Friday, I will update my blog with this warranty information and will pursue my other legal options. I look forward to hearing from you.
NISSAN’S WARRANTY OF SERVICE
Attached is the “Nissan warranty” document which is printed on the back of the last Invoice from Power Nissan of South Bay 1/14/12. Here are the important passages, along with my analysis in brackets:
· “NISSAN MOTOR CORPORATION … Gardena, CA … warrants all genuine NISSAN replacement parts and accessories… and all of the competent parts thereof, to be free from defects in material of workmanship under normal use, service and maintenance for 12,000 miles or 12 months, whichever occurs first, from the date of purchase…”
[My car was first into a dealership on 1/05/05 with “Engine Difficult to start” with the previous owner, and then again by me on 1/31/08, and then again 7 months later on 8/23/08, then again 4.5 months later on 1/9/09, and then it continues, all for same electrical problems including Service Engine Soon Light being on pulling same or similar codes and car shutting down or not starting.]
· “NISSAN will, at its option, repair or replace any part or accessory covered by the warranty which becomes defective, malfunctions or otherwise fails to conform with this warranty… at no charge for parts or for labor in repairing the part or accessory.”
· “THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE VEHICLE AND PARTS AND ACCESSORIES IS WITH…, IF APPLICABLE, THE MANUFACTURER. IF THE VEHICLE OR ANY INSTALLED PARTS OR ACCESSORIES SHOULD PROVE DEFECTIVE FOLLOWING THEIR PURCHASE, THE CUSTOMER AND POSSIBLY THE
MANUFACTURER … ASSUME THE ENTIRE COST OF ANY NECESSARY SERVICING OR REPAIR.”
[According to this, Nissan Motor Corporation, the manufacturer, should assume responsibility since the parts installed have proved defective since my car continues to break down.]
· “If a defect exists within the warranty period, the warranty will not expire until the defect has been fixed. The warranty period will also be extended if the warranty repairs… did not remedy the defect and the buyer notifies the manufacturer or seller of the failure of the repairs within 60 days after they were completed. If, after a reasonable number of attempts, the defect has not been fixed, the buyer may return this product for a replacement or a refund…”
[Between 2008 – 2011 my car was taken into a dealership within the warranty period of 12 months/12,000 miles each time. The defect of the SESL light continuing to come on–which happened 12/21/11 and the ECU showed the same code it’s showed before–and the car shutting down on me still exists–the car shut down on me 12/30/11 and 12/31/11–therefore the warranty period was extended past the initial 12 months of the paid fixes on 8/23/08, 1/09/09 and 1/28/09 and the warranty period is still in effect since the warranty repairs each time since those initial repairs I paid for did not remedy the defect.
I’ve opened 6 files with Nissan Motor Corporation therefore the manufacturer was notified on many occasions; the first file was opened on 7/14/09, File # 6543356. And I initially notified the “seller” of services and parts, being Universal City Nissan, on 1/28/09 that the 1/09/09 fix did not remedy the defect, therefore the “seller” was notified within 60 days.
My car has been into 3 Nissan Dealerships 18 times – I believe this absolutely falls under a “reasonable amount of attempts” to fix my car, therefore according to your own warranty, I may return the car for a replacement or a refund.]
Anna confirmed that she received my email. Melvyn Lemus, Service Manager of Universal City Nissan, confirmed with me today the same warranty applies at their dealership. Both Melvyn and Mike Garcia, Assistant Service Manager of Power Nissan, told me they agree that Nissan should adhere to their own warranty policy and agreed to contact Anna Naraeva. I relayed this onto Anna and she confirmed receipt of the emails. Mel also confirmed Nissan Motor Corp. is in Gardena which means they are the agent for Nissan here in CA and that is who a Nissan owner could sue in small claims court in CA (which the maximum in CA is now $10,000, and no one can bring a lawyer to small claims in CA, just a representative of the company, which in my opinion favors consumers who sue companies).
As you’ll see above in the email, I told Nissan they had until close of business day today to make me an offer of settlement. I reiterated that in an email this afternoon, saying I expected a written response today. Anna left me a message saying they had made a decision, but I was unable to respond by phone, and she did not email me that decision, even upon my request. Mike told me that Anna did not relay the decision to him, but said that Anna said it went to Nissan’s legal department.
I will await to speak to Nissan Monday morning, but since they did not respond by my deadline, I will spend this weekend reaching out to lawyers, gathering information to file a small claims suit, and touching base with media who have already shown interest, so if the decision is not in my favor come Monday, I will be ready to go after Nissan legally and publicly full force. As you see above, I told Nissan I do not wish to do this and wish to solve this amicably. Let’s see if Nissan does the right thing.
Legally in my opinion, Nissan is obligated to settle/refund (or offer a replacement) according to their own warranty policy, but it’s also absolutely in their favor to settle. Because let’s just say due to this blog and the publicity I generate over “Nissan not adhering to their own warranty therefore DON’T BUY NISSAN,” just one customer decides to buy a brand new Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic, Ford Focus, or Kia Forte instead of the Nissan Sentra, then Nissan has lost around $20,000 to their competition just on that one sale. But I definitely feel I will reach more than just 1 customer and Nissan has the potential to lose millions if Nissan won’t stand behind their own warranty. Therefore it’s in Nissan’s best interest to adhere to their own warranty and do what is right, which is offer me a settlement/refund to buy back my car since it’s broken down 18 times due to the same or similar electrical problems and the defect was not remedied.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and I do not offer legal advice; any advice or suggestions should be researched by you and decisions made based on your own research.
January 14, 2012
Living with the fear and anxiety of another breakdown everyday
So I returned the loaner as requested by Power Nissan and picked up my car, unfixed, this morning. Now I have to live with the fear and anxiety that it will breakdown on my everyday. Mike Garcia said in so many words the cusp of Nissan’s argument:
Your car is out of warranty so we can’t fix it anymore, and the 18 times it’s been into three Nissan dealerships for the same or similar electrical problems, and the $750 spent at Universal City Nissan and the $165 at Santa Monica Nissan that never fixed anything is in the past. There is nothing else we can do to help you.
This was also basically Nissan Consumer Affairs stance on Friday after long arduous conversations with Anna Naraeaa. Anna left a message for me saying that after further review of my file, if my car breaks down again, I can bring it back to Nissan and they will run a free diagnostic, and decide what to do from there….and make sure to write down the conditions, weather, etc. of exactly what happens when your car breaks down again.
Hello, McFly, I already did that and gave that to all of you on 12/31/11 and you kept my car for 2 weeks and did not fix it. And both Anna and Mike said that if a Technical Service Bulletin will fix the car, that I would have to pay for that. When I pointed out to Mike the one that this most likely sounded like, he said Nissan would have fixed it for free between 2003 and 2005 – then when I pointed out the TSB was issued in 2005, he didn’t really know what to say to that.
Nissan knows about the issues with the Sentras and their own reps don’t even know what their own TSB’s are or what to do with them. I was told by Mike that Joe S., the DTS, looked at these TSB’s, but won’t give me Joe’s last name or contact information, and neither will Anna, therefore I cannot talk to the person who diagnosed my car and refused to fix it. Nor would Mike give me Pedro the Master Technician’s last name – he said that they only go by first name’s there, that even Pedro doesn’t know Mike’s name. That really makes me feel good – the Master Technician who worked on my car doesn’t even know my Service Advisor’s name. This is how no one at Nissan is held accountable for anything they do, because no one knows each other and the customer cannot speak to the mechanic who works on this car. NO ACCOUNTABILITY.
I’m exhausted from dealing with Nissan. I’m tired of their complete and utter incompetence. I’m tired of their lies. I’m tired that they do not stand behind their products, their parts, or their service. I’m tired of all the time I’ve wasted dealing with Nissan reps.
The Nissan Sentra I own is junk, it’s given me nothing but problems for the past 4 years, I’ve had it into the dealership 18 times, and they have been unable to fix their own car that they manufacture. I invested in Nissan’s name when I bought this car and it’s one of the worst investments I’ve made in my life.
So unless you want to encounter the same exhaustive experience as me, unless you want to make a really bad investment in a product the manufacturer does not stand behind, and unless you want to live with fear and anxiety every day you drive your car…..
DON’T BUY NISSAN
January 13, 2012
NOT ACCEPTABLE: Power Nissan is just giving my car back with no fixes
Once again, this is best summed up in the emails sent to Nissan, below. I have also requested to speak to Bill Krueger, Senior Vice President, Total Customer Satisfaction, due to my dissatisfaction with this outcome – I am far from a totally satisfied customer seeing my car is in the 3rd Nissan dealership for the 18th time and Nissan’s stance, according to Anna, is that we’ve helped you all we’re going to. Anna – Nissan has never fixed the car properly, so how does that help me if my car continues to break down on me?
Date: Fri, Jan 13, 2012
Subject: URGENT: Attn: Anna & Bill Krueger
To: email@example.com, “Baumgartner, Mary” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: “Garcia, Mike” <email@example.com>
If Nissan is unwilling to properly fix my car for the 18th time and unwilling to loan out the snapshot machine, I want to speak to Bill Krueger, Senior Vice President, Total Customer Satisfaction (or whomever has the title now).
I do not accept your statement that Nissan has helped me in the past and will no longer, because nothing that Nissan did actually ever fixed my car. IT BROKE DOWN 18 TIMES IN 4 YEARS due to the same electrical problems. Nissan never fixed it correctly and even Mike Garcia said he believed that Universal City Nissan “took me for a ride” that all they did was throw parts at the car.
Please send me Mr. Krueger’s phone number so I can call him today.
Date: Fri, Jan 13, 2012
Subject: Not acceptable
To: “Garcia, Mike” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: email@example.com, “Baumgartner, Mary” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Just spoke with Anna. I’m very upset with this outcome. I do not accept that I have to continue driving this car when it could breakdown at any moment, and that you will not loan out the snapshot machine. I do not accept that you have the TSB’s that describe this problem but refuse to apply them or as Anna said will charge me for that. I’m also upset John never gave me a call from Power Nissan.
So what do you propose in going forward? What happens when it breaks down again, for the 19th time? If I bring it into Power Nissan, can you have them hook up the machine right away (however once the car is warm it usually doesn’t do shut off)? Will you provide a loaner again if needed (won’t take advantage if I don’t need it; i.e. if on a Saturday for instance)?
At your request I’ll return the loaner since you are giving me no choice. As I explained to Anna, I can bring it back tonight and be there around 8pm, or first thing tomorrow morning (tomorrow morning is easiest for me but if you must have it back tonight, I will, unfortunately as explained below I cannot get off work early to return any earlier).
I want to put you all on legal notice since you are giving me my car back after it’s been into the dealership for the 18th time for the same/similar electrical problems that if it breaks down on me in traffic and I am harmed or anyone else, that you will be held liable. When I come to pick up the car, I would also like Joe’s full name, as well as Pedro’s like I requested before and you said you would get for me, and I would like everything documented that was done with my car. And I would like John’s full name with the documentation as well, as well as the owner of Power Nissan. I would also like Anna to provide the owner of Universal City Nissan and the owner of Santa Monica Nissan (even though they are closed, who was the last owner).
I have a phone call scheduled with Anna today. I hope something will change by then. I hope you will at least test it a few more times. Thank you.
January 12, 2012
Three Technical Service Bulletins that I believe directly apply
The status update of my car is best summarized in the email I just sent to Nissan. Here are three complete Technical Service Bulletins that I believe apply to the idling/shutting off problem with my car and are discussed below:
Date: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 9:22 PM
Subject: Checking in
To: email@example.com, “Baumgartner, Mary” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Garcia, Mike” <email@example.com>
I am checking in. I last spoke to Anna Naravaa, Supervisor in Escalation Team, Consumer Affairs Nissan (615-725-7376) on Wednesday around 7:30am PST and have not heard back from her, John at Power Nissan (requested to Mike for him to give me a call) or anyone since. I’m hoping you’ve taken this time to look at the Technical Service Bulletins and further test and fix my car, and if so, I very much thank you for that. And I thank you for the man hours dedicated to testing my car.
If you are unable to duplicate the shut down, I proposed a solution to Anna on Wednesday, which is to please allow me to borrow the machine that takes a snap shot of the engine (or ECU or whatever it is) when it shuts down, so that WHEN it does shut down again, you will have the info you need to fix it.
I do not accept getting back the car without fixing the idling/shutdown problem, with no remedy for the future and having to live with the fear everyday of whether or not my car will shut down on me in traffic and whether or not Nissan will be able to duplicate the problem — at least if you give my car back with the machine attached, WHEN it does shut down on me again, you will have what you need to apply the TSB’s and/or fix it.
With that being said, I have found and attached 3 complete TSB’s (with remedies) that I believe apply to the situation at hand. I have also included the exact description, again, of what happened on 12/30/11-12/31/11 and written why I think these 3 TSB’s may correspond to the problem at hand. Can you please look at these TSB’s and see if you can apply them even if you can’t duplicate the problem?
I await to hear from you and truly appreciate all the help concerning my car. Again take as long as you need to properly fix it properly, I am happy with the loaner. Thank you.
PS. Please note, I work 15 miles away from Power Nissan, up the 405, meaning much LA traffic, M-F 9am to 6:30pm (sometimes later) therefore if I am to return the loaner/pickup my car during the workweek, I need to do it at either 7am or 8pm and need ample notice so I can plan accordingly (I am free anytime on the weekends, but I’m unavailable this coming Monday).
EXACT DESCRIPTION OF WHAT HAPPENED 12/30/11-12/31/11
I drove to library around 4:00pm-4:15pm about 2 miles away from home after car was off at home all or most of the day before that. The weather that day was between 46-55 degrees (in Santa Monica near me, info found on http://www.wunderground.com/) and at this time it was probably near the colder side as the sun was going or getting ready to go down. The first time car shut off it was parked at the library, off for about 10 minutes, and when I came out, it shut off in park. I let it sit, started again, the RPM was fluctuating (just as it had in the past shut downs, between 600-800 RPM), then it shut off again. Then it started up and if I put it in gear pretty quickly, seemed to run, so I drove it home (because not too far) and on way home, while idle at a red light, RPM fluctuates, and shuts off again (again, just like it has done in the past, when idling). It starts back up, runs, then when I get home to park, shuts off after I put it into reverse to even out to pull into parking spot. The Service Engine Soon Light was not on. I called Mike at Power Nissan at 4:35pm to let him know and he said to bring it in the next morning (call time logged in cell phone).
Around 9am (weather was btw 44-60 degrees that day, most likely around 44 in morning) in park, the RPM fluctuated between 1200-600-1200-100 then shut off. Then it started again and drove fine all the way to the dealer, I believe at one red light the RPM fluctuated a little between 600-800 but did not shut off.
TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETINS I BELIEVE MAY APPLY
“Engine RPM rises at start and then drops and cannot maintain idle…The above symptoms may occur after an ECM reprogram”
– when my car shut off in morning of 12/31 after 1st occurrence the previous day, that morning RPM jumped up to 1200, then 600, then back up to 1200, then 100, then shut off. And on 12/21/11 the dealer did an Idle Air Relearn Control Volume (i.e. an ECM reprogram).
“The engine idle speed is typically between 1000 and 1500 rpm when – the transmission is in either the “Park” or “Neutral” position and there are no DTC stored …)”
Again RPM was 1200, I was in Park and no codes and no light came on.
“The idle, in Park or Neutral, is more than 25 rpm above specification (with the engine warm), ….This incident may be the result of recent cleaning or replacement of the throttle body. The vehicle “in-use” learned idle (IAVL) may be higher after throttle body deposits are reduced (by cleaning or replacement).”
I’m not completely sure but I think Power Nissan cleaned the throttle body on 12/21/11, and the idle was more than 25 rpm above spec at 1200, right? I remember Mike saying they cleaned a few things and I wouldn’t need to do the yearly system clean for a year.
January 10, 2012
Technical Service Bulletins on 2002 Nissan Sentra
I just found these Technical Service Bulletins (TSB’s) that may have to do with the constant breakdowns of my car. I have emailed Nissan to ask about them. I found them on this very useful website: http://www.carcomplaints.com/Nissan/Sentra/2002/tsbs/
NHTSA ID #10015991
Date Announced: SEPTEMBER 08 2006
Summary: LONG ENGINE CRANK TIME BEFORE START. *SC
NHTSA ID #10019300
Date Announced: FEBRUARY 08 2006
Summary: MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP ON WITH DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODE U1000 OR U1010 STORED IN ENGINE CONTROL UNIT. *AK
NHTSA ID #10006193
Date Announced: FEBRUARY 03 2004
Summary: UNABLE TO MAINTAIN IDLE OR LOW/ROUGH IDLE AT START.*MR
NHTSA ID #10004566
Date Announced: OCTOBER 08 2003
Summary: LOW POWER/POOR RUNNING AND/OR MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP ON WITH FRONT O2 SENSOR/TRANSMISSION GEAR DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODE STORED. *TT
NHTSA ID #10000792
Date Announced: DECEMBER 19 2002
Summary: ENGINE; ROUGH IDLE, HESITATION WHEN ACCELERATING, OR IDLE HUNTING. *TT
NHTSA ID #10000205
Date Announced: OCTOBER 29 2002
Summary: HARD / NO START / FLUCTUATING / ROUGH IDLE AT TEMPERATURES BELOW FREEZING. *TT
NHTSA ID #633671
Date Announced: AUGUST 12 2002
Summary: LOW POWER/POOR RUNNING AND/OR MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP ON WITH FRONT O2 SENSOR/TRANSMISSION GEAR DTC STORED. *JG
NHTSA ID #10001446
Date Announced: DECEMBER 07 2004
Summary: MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP ON WITH DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODE P0102/P1102 STORED. *SCC DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODE P0100 STORED AS WELL. *TT
Some more useful websites on TSB’s:
January 10, 2012
My Nissan Sentra is Not An Enigma
So Power Nissan and Joe the DTS Technician could not duplicate the shut down after driving my car 70 miles today. I think my email to Melody Benedict and Mary Baumgartner in Nissan Consumer Affairs, ccing Mike Garcia at Power Nissan, best sums up the events of today:
Date: Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 4:23 PM
Subject: update on my car
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, “Baumgartner, Mary” <email@example.com>
Cc: “Garcia, Mike” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Around 1:15pm today I was given an update on my car by Mike Garcia. He said they have not been able to recreate the shut down problem. He said the DTS was out driving the car then. He said he would update me this evening or tomorrow morning. He said that they put about 70 miles on the car. I explained I told all of you this, that one time when this happened, it took them 4 days to recreate the shutdown, but they did. And I also stated before, by letting the car sit for a week, awaiting the DTS, it may not shut down again right away. It tends to shut down after sitting for long periods of time, i.e. in the morning after sitting through the night and after work for me, after sitting 9 hours. Also, it tends to break down more when it is colder out, i.e. the last 3 Decembers it broke down and the first time in Jan. 2008.
Mike then went onto discuss things like the carfax showing an accident by the previous owner which I explained the previous owner told me was a minor accident while parked to the rear door that was easily fixed. I wasn’t quite sure what that had to do with the price of tea in China or how that related to the continued electrical problems with my car or the 17 previous occasions Nissan has been unable to fix said electrical problems, or the 2 ECU’s, 3 ETB’s and 5 ECU reprograms that have not fixed a thing.
It sounded to me like they weren’t going to drive it much more past today or tomorrow, and unless the car shuts down there is no other way for them to test anything. It also sounded to me as if he was trying to come up with excuses as to the 17 breakdowns somehow being my fault or the previous owner’s and not Nissan’s.
This is YOUR CAR, you need to fix it properly. A 2002 with under 52,000 5 years old should not break down 17 times in 4 years and have all the electrical parts continually replaced. The first time it broke down on me was in January 2008 with only 51,178 miles; and the first time a similar problem happened to the first owner was 2005 with only 29,251 miles. This electrical problem has plagued this car since just under 30,000 miles. Please do something about it.
Mike said my car was “an enigma.” NO IT ISN’T, many other people have reported same or similar problems with the 2002 Sentra SE-R and other Sentras, so I don’t understand why language like this is still being used when I have provided much research to all of you. Have you not read it? Do you not care that you are allowing an unsafe vehicle, many unsafe vehicles, on the road?
To make this day worse, the conversation with Emily was just unacceptable, she didn’t even know why my car was in the shop.
This is not acceptable. I want my car fixed properly this time, or traded in for one that works. I cannot live like this anymore driving this car worrying if it will break down on me, and these continued arguments with Nissan, and being passed onto different people in Consumer Affairs who know nothing about the 18 TIMES MY CAR HAS BROKEN DOWN ON ME.
Please figure this out – I want the next phone call to be good news. Thank you.
Mike, Melody and Mary – what if this was your car? And what if you had all the research I had showing you that many other Sentras are having the exact same or similar problems that mine is having. Would you think your car was an enigma? Does that make sense?
Mike said to me today if there was an major problem then surely Nissan would have issued a recall. Then how do you explain the many other people who have reported multiple ETB’s and ECU’s being replaced, some saying their entire engine was replaced.
In case you forgot or neglected to read the file, here it is again with all the research.
Please don’t come back to me tomorrow with this blaming attitude or calling my car an enigma. Do what is right. Pretend this car is yours. Do what you would want the manufacturer to do if you were in my situation and your car broke down on you 18 times due to the same electrical problems.
Mike, Joe, Melody and Mary, I once again make a plea to you to please do the right thing here.