Helpful Suggestions

A Message from the Founder of Don’t Buy Nissan: Buy the Competition

Due to life circumstances, I can no longer dedicate the time and energy to answer Nissan owners who write in or post a comment.

After my four year nightmare of owning a Nissan Sentra and getting no help from Nissan Corporate or three different dealerships after 20 services (with the exception of the buyback from Power Nissan), I have dedicated much time the past two years to helping other Nissan owners who have had the unfortunate circumstances of learning what I did — that Nissan cars are faulty, built poorly, with manufacturer defects, Nissan doesn’t stand behind their warranties, nor do the dealerships care to help their customers. All Nissan cares about is the sale.

Hundreds of Nissan owners have written in and I’ve provided as much advice as I could, taking suggestions from my four year struggle. Two years have gone by since Power Nissan bought back my Sentra after I put so much pressure on them, it was the only choice they had, and I can no longer dedicate the time or effort to this website, nor do I want the negativity or bad memories of owning my Nissan.

By the way on a positive note: I am almost two years into my ownership of a Toyota Corolla LE and I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Toyota is a great company and they offer 2 years of free maintenance services with any new car, along with low APR (I got 1.9% in February 2012). I highly recommend the Corolla LE — the LE has an awesome Bluetooth radio that you can hook up your phone to and talk handsfree (and get music from your phone over your radio). After doing much research and also considering the Hyundai Elantra (my second choice), Ford Focus, Honda Civic, and Kia Forte, I’m very satisfied that I went with the Corolla. And the Marina Del Rey Toyota Dealership totally takes care of me and is awesome. (And I swear this website is not some elongated advertisement for Toyota — my Toyota love is genuine and I came to Toyota after many friends and family recommended them after having multiple Toyotas and witnessing how long they last).

I will leave this website up to help others, and feel free to post your comments. Also below is a list of suggestions I came up with over the past couple years, that I send to others which may or may not be helpful to you [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]:

  • CONTACT THE GENERAL MANAGER (GM) AT THE DEALERSHIP: The Service Manager is usually no help I have found. Go straight to the GM, the top dog at the dealership. A GM settled my dispute and bought back my used Nissan Sentra. If a GM at one dealership won’t help you, try another dealership. Sometimes the GM is listed on the website for the dealership, or just call and ask for their name, try to schedule an appointment, and go down there and explain your situation, and bring documentation if you have it.
  • CONTACT A LEMON LAW ATTORNEY: If you’ve had your Nissan into the dealership multiple times and it’s still under warranty (or possibly it was under warranty when you started having problems) contact a local lemon law attorney ASAP. Most lemon law lawyers should work on a contingent basis, which means you pay them nothing up front, they get a percentage of the settlement and/or the manufacturer ends up paying their fee, which means they only take on cases they believe they will win. Don’t be like me, I waited too long out of warranty, and that’s what the dealerships want you to do. If you are in CA, contact Normal Taylor & Assoc. – he wrote a book on CA lemon law: 888.493.0434,
  • NHTSA: File a report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (if enough people do this on your model, they may open an investigation):  – also, research this site and see if there are other reports with your problem.
  • NISSAN CONTACTS: As you will see in a comment on the contacts page here: – another Nissan owner, Joe, said he contacted Bradley Thacker’s office and someone there helped him out.  You may want to try him or some of the other contacts on that list.  Remember to be really nice, as you get more bees with honey.
  • SMALL CLAIMS COURT: you may also want to look into filing a small claims lawsuit against the dealership and/or Nissan North America.  In the state of CA the maximum for small claims court was raised to $10,000 in 2012.  Lawyers are not allowed in CA small claims court, so Nissan cannot bring lawyers and if you do, you can ask the judge to throw them out (look up the Heather Peters Honda Civic case).
  • TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETINS: Technical Service Bulletins are internal memo’s from the manufacturer to the dealerships when they have received multiple complaints on an issue and have issued a “fix” to the dealers, however they don’t deem it necessary to “issue a recall.”  See if you can find any “Technical Service Bulletins / TSB’s” on your car here: (this site allows you 2 free TSB’s per day or you can sign up and pay for unlimited, this is where I found the TSB’s on my Sentra that proved it was a known issue).  You may then be able to use these TSB’s as negotiating power, since they show it’s a known issue (honestly it didn’t work for me, as I really encountered some slimeballs that just didn’t care, but every dealership is different).
  • AAA: Also, if you are a AAA member and the dealership is a AAA dealership, then depending on what membership you have, AAA might be able to step in to help negotiate (not all dealers are AAA though) – if you have AAA, call them for advice.
  • YELP: You can also write a review on Yelp ( of both the dealership and Nissan Consumer Affairs, and I would suggest naming names in your reviews, as I have found some people don’t like their names searchable on the internet and this can be negotiating power for you.
  • DOCUMENT ALL CORRESPONDENCE: Keep records of everyone you correspond with and what they say [noting the reps full name (ask them to spell it), rep ID # or ext. #, and date and time spoke to] as this creates a legal document presentable in a court of law.
  • NO BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU (BBB): I used to suggest contacting the BBB, but don’t waste your time, as there are reports that the BBB is now corrupt (just google Better Business Bureau corruption), and my report with them was useless as they listed it as resolved when it was far from resolved by me and gave Universal City Nissan an A rating (which goes in line with the corruption charges of the articles on the BBB).

The more we spread the word about how Nissan treats their customers and how they don’t back their faulty products, the more people will learn that you DON’T BUY NISSAN, BUY THE COMPETITION.  Be sure to spread the word about your experience with your Nissan to all your family and friends.

Good luck!

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 — Yes I am repeating my disclaimer — Read it, follow it, live it.

March 12, 2013

Murano Drivers Side Seat Breaks – TSB’s But Nissan Fails To Issue Recall

Here’s another reason not to buy Nissan and how they don’t stand behind their product.  A 2006 Nissan Murano owner just wrote in about her driver’s seat breaking while driving.  The frame needs to be replaced, which is a costly repair, owners reporting dealers quoting upwards of $900-$1,000.

I did some online research and found this is a common problem with many Murano owners posting online complaints.  And Nissan fails to issue a recall, although according to a posting by davemunyan at the forum at, here are the Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) Nissan issued on the problem:

TSB# 05043
Date of Bulletin: Mar 29, 2007

TSB# 05095
Date of Bulletin: Oct 15, 2003

This was the same as my car, there were at least three TSB’s on my Sentra.  A TSB is issued by the manufacturer when they know there is a problem, and the TSB is to help the dealers fix the problem.  But for whatever reason, read costs, Nissan does not care about their customers enough to issue a recall.

davemunyan also reports the dealer originally quoted him $900 for the fix and he got them to repair it for $300.  Another poster, MCowher, says he got Nissan Corp. to do a “Goodwill Repair” and fix it for free (much better than the $948 he was originally quoted).

Here is a Youtube video on how to repair yourself: (Disclaimer: I do not condone this nor do I have any knowledge to it’s effectiveness).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation on this problem in 2008 on the 2005 Murano, but closed it in 2009 because according to them, the risk while driving could not be demonstrated. Here is the full report:

NHTSA Action Number: N/A NHTSA Recall Campaign Number:
PE08065 N/A
Year : 2005
Component :

Date Investigation Opened : November 18, 2008
Date Investigation Closed : July 2, 2009

Here’s some of the research showing this is a big problem with the Nissan Murano:

2006 Murano:

2005 Murano: – has a picture of where to weld it to fix it

2004 Murano:

Remember, this is why you:




Changing the world one post at a time. Dedicated to providing current Nissan owners with information to help them, and to all consumers to provide research in order to help them learn that you: Don’t Buy Nissan, Buy the Competition.

My aim is to give a truthful, accurate account of the four year nightmare of owning my Nissan Sentra and the stress, exhaustion, and anger I experienced dealing with Nissan Corp. and the three dealerships. If anyone I mention here or elsewhere on my blog wishes to email me with any comments on anything I say, or wishes to contradict or challenge anything I say, I will be more than happy to review any comments, to post your comments and then comment on them myself, or remove anything that I find out to be inaccurate.


February 13, 2013

Class Action Lawsuit information: Nissan Transmission Failures – Altima, Maxima, and Quest Vehicles

RE: 2004-2006 MAXIMA; 2005-2006 ALTIMA; 2004-2007 QUEST

A 2005 Nissan Altima owner just wrote into my website reporting transmission problems for the past two years.  While I listed some class action lawsuit information on this in a previous article, now I found the link to the lawyers website who are handling this case.  Here is their info:

Chimicles & Tikellis
361 West Lancaster Ave
One Haverford Centre
Haverford, Pennsylvania 19041
Toll Free: 866-399-2487
Voice: 610-642-8500
Fax: 610-649-3633

Attorneys for this case: Joseph G. Sauder, Benjamin F. Johns, Matthew D. Schelkopf


The class action lawsuit against Nissan is currently open and in the discovery stage of litigation, according to Chimicles & Tikellis’ website. Also according to their website:

The complaint alleges that Nissan Maxima (MY 2004-06), Altima (MY 2005-06), and Quest (MY 2004-07) vehicles with the 3.5 liter V6 engine and Aisin RE5F22A 5-speed automatic transmission may contain a design defect causing them to be predisposed to transmission slippage, premature clutch wear, overheating, and other problems that ultimately result in serious and expensive damage to the vehicles’ transmission.

So if you own one of these vehicles and are experiencing transmission problems, you should contact the lawyers above immediately.



In addition, there are three San Francisco Bay residents who are suing Nissan for a hidden defect that caused breakdowns for their 2002 Pathfinder, 2003 Altima and 2003 Pathfinder.  According to the article, “Jennie Anderson, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said they want to expand their suit to a class action on behalf of all Californians who bought 2001 through 2005 models of Nissan Altimas, Pathfinders or Sentras.  Read more here:

September 19, 2012

Nissan owner reports deceptive pricing practices at Crown Nissan in Birmingham

Nicole Cross, a Nissan Altima owner, emailed in the story below.  This particular story interested me because like I have previously reported, I personally have had a rep in a Nissan dealership parts department quote me a different price, a lower price, than a rep in the service department.  I reached out to Bob Cruthirds, General Sales Manager of Crown Nissan for comment, but he never responded to my inquiry.

Read her complaint:

Date: Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Good Morning,

I purchased a Nissan Altima from Crown Nissan in Birmingham, Alabama in October of 2011. The purchasing experience was pleasant and professional. I have since recommended many friends, family and co-workers to this dealership to purchase their vehicles.

I have had trouble in the past with shoddy repair shops so anytime I have a problem I prefer to go straight to the dealership mechanics to have my issues corrected. Most recently, I realized there was a problem with one of my tires as it appeared low and I was frustrated when I was unable to pump any air into the tire. I called the parts and services departments on Friday, August 3, 2012 to ask questions about the issues I was having and to get an estimate on the costs for repair and time it would take to complete the job. I believe I spoke with a man named John from parts, who told me that I did not need an appointment that day and that I could come right in. He also gave me a price to replace the part he thought I needed from my description of the problem (air valve $118 + tax) along with the price to reprogram the sensor ($98). I specifically asked if there were any additional charges for things like balancing and remounting the tire, which he answered NO.

Upon my arrival to this shop I was shocked when another service representative, I do not remember his name, told me that I would most likely have to wait at least two hours before he could look at my car. Then he went on to quote a price for the repair that was twice what John told me on the phone earlier that morning and included charges for mounting and balancing. This representative also stated that the labor cost was $100 per hour and that it would most likely take at least one hour to complete. Of course I told him what was quoted to me earlier that morning and that I specifically asked if I needed to make an appointment for service and was told to “come right in”. I even gave him the name of the person I spoke with. This representative told me he had no idea who I could have talked to on the phone and that the quote given was incorrect and the waiting time was extensive for that day. I was extremely distraught over the obvious disregard for my concern over the discrepancies between what was told over the phone and what was said at the shop. This service representative never even bothered to look at the tire to make sure the issue I explained was even the problem. I asked to speak with John but the representative would not tell me who he was or if he was even there. I saw another man standing behind the service desk watching as I spoke who never said a word or even offered any assistance. The service representative I spoke with was not helpful, rude and showed a total indifference to my needs or the potential dangers I could face being forced to drive elsewhere on this faulty tire. Roadways in Birmingham, Alabama consist of many hills, bumpy roads and extreme temperatures all causing additional stress and ware of the tires.

Even though it was raining and I was extremely nervous about driving any further I managed to make it to another repair shop. I was shocked to find out that the part I needed replaced costs less than $10 and took less than 20 minutes to install! It is a shame that these mechanics can be deceptive, predators of loyal customers. I am insulted at the blatant attempt to take advantage of me, assuming women motorists do not know better. This unfortunate experience has severely damaged my impression of the services received at this dealership and Nissan as a whole for employing these types of individuals. Needless to say, I will no longer be boasting over the great team and service provided. This needs to investigated further and I intend to use every influence in my power to ensure that something is done to prevent other women from falling victim to these repair scams hidden behind the false since of security provided by a national brand.

Nicole Cross


This is why you:




Changing the world one post at a time.  Dedicated to providing current Nissan owners with information to help them, and to all consumers to provide research in order to help them learn that you: Don’t Buy Nissan, Buy the Competition.

My aim is to give a truthful, accurate account of the four year nightmare of owning my Nissan Sentra and the stress, exhaustion, and anger I experienced dealing with Nissan Corp. and the three dealerships. If anyone I mention here or elsewhere on my blog wishes to email me with any comments on anything I say, or wishes to contradict or challenge anything I say, I will be more than happy to review any comments, to post your comments and then comment on them myself, or remove anything that I find out to be inaccurate.


August 19, 2012

NHTSA opens investigation on transmission/radiator problems with the Frontier: received 512 complaints on Frontier, Pathfinder and Xterra

Here’s some info for all of you who have written in about your Pathfinders, and those with Frontiers and Xterras.  A reminder to all Nissan owners, file a complaint with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) as when they have enough complaints, they will open an investigation.


Report Date : August 19, 2012 at 09:19 AM
NHTSA Action Number : DP12004
NHTSA Action Number : DP12004 NHTSA Recall Campaign Number : N/A
Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
     NISSAN / FRONTIER 2005-2010
     NISSAN / PATHFINDER 2005-2010
     NISSAN / XTERRA 2005-2010
Manufacturer(s) :
Nissan North America, Inc.
Component(s) :
Date Investigation Opened : June 11, 2012
Date Investigation Closed : Open
 ODI received a petition requesting investigation of transmission damage attributed to contamination by engine coolant. The source of the contamination is a cracked ATF line that runs through an engine coolant chamber in the radiator. ODI has received (512) five-hundred-twelve consumer complaints between August 2005 to May 2012 regarding transmission problems. A copy of the petition will be placed in the public file. ODI will review its content and related field data to assess whether a safety defect investigation is warranted. Referenced VOQs are listed on a separate page.

Documents from NHTSA

Petition for Defect Investigation INBC-DP12004-51566

ODI Resume INOA-DP12004-9949


So when you check the box to request research, the below info comes up… so it looks like there is indeed an investigation that was opened on the Frontier June 11, 2012.


NHTSA Action Number : DP12004

NHTSA Action Number : DP12004
Date Investigation Opened: June 11, 2012
Date Investigation Closed: Open


The fact that Nissan won’t admit to these problems and issue a recall to Nissan owners, and is forcing owners into a class action lawsuit is disgusting and shows you the kind of company Nissan is.


Nissan Class Actions and other unsatisfied Nissan Owners



This is why you:




Changing the world one post at a time.  Dedicated to providing current Nissan owners with information to help them, and to all consumers to provide research in order to help them learn that you: Don’t Buy Nissan, Buy the Competition.

My aim is to give a truthful, accurate account of the four year nightmare of owning my Nissan Sentra and the stress, exhaustion, and anger I experienced dealing with Nissan Corp. and the three dealerships. If anyone I mention here or elsewhere on my blog wishes to email me with any comments on anything I say, or wishes to contradict or challenge anything I say, I will be more than happy to review any comments, to post your comments and then comment on them myself, or remove anything that I find out to be inaccurate.


July 21, 2012

To anyone thinking of buying a Nissan, here are my thoughts

A friend of mine told me she was happy with her 1998 Nissan Sentra and she would consider buying another one.  Firstly, if you had a great experience with your Nissan, then I am truly happy for you, because I would never wish my four year nightmare of owning a Nissan Sentra on anyone.  Here is my response though to anyone who has had a positive experience with a Nissan or anyone considering buying a Nissan:

“Just FYI, here’s my Nissan blog, just in case you’re still considering buying another Nissan Sentra.  I’m happy you had a great experience with your ’98 Sentra, as I would never wish my four year nightmare of owing an ’02 Sentra on anyone.  However, from my research, many others had problems with Sentras in the 2000’s.


Posts that may interest you:

Nissan Class Actions and other unsatisfied Nissan Owners
-check out the section on this post “More complaints from Nissan owners / Nissan Sentra” to see complaints on Sentras
-many more complaints here:

More Sentra complaints on Consumer Affairs website

Information for all car owners

Hence, I would highly advise against another Nissan Sentra or any Nissan ever, as I believe the Sentra’s in the 2000’s were shoddily built, and Nissan Corporation does not back up their product or warranties.  So if you buy another Sentra and you have any problems at all, you’re going to have a tough time getting Nissan to stand behind it or their warranty or to get a dealership to fix it properly, and why would you want any of that hassle.

I found Technical Service Bulletins, which are known issues and fixes written up by Nissan Corporation, and the dealership refused to look at these, and Nissan Corp. refused to acknowledge these or acknowledge that the “shut down” problem with my Sentra was a known issue, when the TSB’s proved that it was.  Nissan is a horrible horrible company that does not care at all about their customers or repeat business and their reps outright lie to you constantly.   Nissan may have been different back in the 90’s, but that is not the case today.

Anyhow, that’s my two cents.  Hope it helps.”

This is why you:




Changing the world one post at a time

My aim is to give a truthful, accurate account of the four year nightmare of owning my Nissan Sentra and the stress, exhaustion, and anger I experienced dealing with Nissan Corp. and the three dealerships. If anyone I mention here or elsewhere on my blog wishes to email me with any comments on anything I say, or wishes to contradict or challenge anything I say, I will be more than happy to review any comments, to post your comments and then comment on them myself, or remove anything that I find out to be inaccurate.


May 26, 2012 (updated May 28, 2012)

Universal City Nissan calls police on Nissan Owner for legally protesting

So I’m not the only one who Universal City Nissan has upset with their poor service.

Nissan Owner Ann Chong emailed into my blog back in March of this year writing, “Universal City Nissan has had my car for about 3 weeks and they have given it back to me several times with more damage done to the vehicle EVERY time.”

Ms. Chong took the advice a lemon law lawyer gave to me that I previously posted on my blog (Information for all car owners) and went out to Universal City Nissan today to protest their shoddy work on her car.  Here is what she wrote in an email to Bill Mastroianni–the same General Manager of Universal City Nissan who refused to issue a refund to me or even acknowledge the allegations I had of his service department’s shoddy work (UCN had my former Sentra 12 times and never fixed it; read more here)–and to Melvyn Lemus, the Service Manager who refused to service my Sentra the 13th time on February 2, 2012 after I had it towed there by AAA:

From: Ann Chong
Date: Sat, May 26, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Subject: Dear Nissan, Thank you for calling the police on me!

Dear Bill,
I’m sure your employees informed you about the protest outside today. (Most of them were outside taking photos and or hitting on me!)
I felt the protest was necessary to get my point across. I DO NOT appreciate being ignored. I’m sure the other disgruntled customers feel the same way.
Oh, and thank Melvyn for calling the police! Seriously?!?
I was NOT on your property and I was NOT breaking the law.
I was exercising my First Amendment Right.
If I had been doing something wrong, my ass would be in jail right now. But as you can see I’m a free woman!
Calling the police just added fuel to my fire……………………………
Have a great weekend, I know I will~~


Once again, proof of how Nissan treats Nissan owners — by calling the police on them.  This is why you:






Changing the world one post at a time

My aim is to give a truthful, accurate account of the four year nightmare of owning my Nissan Sentra and the stress, exhaustion, and anger I experienced dealing with Nissan Corp. and the three dealerships. If anyone I mention here or elsewhere on my blog wishes to email me with any comments on anything I say, or wishes to contradict or challenge anything I say, I will be more than happy to review any comments, to post your comments and then comment on them myself, or remove anything that I find out to be inaccurate.


May 9, 2012

Honda loses PR war over fighting Civic Hybrid owner & false advertising

I don’t know about you, but Heather Peters fight with Honda over her Civic Hybrid has really soured me on Honda as a company.  Peters discovered that her Honda Civic Hybrid was not getting the mileage Honda advertised after a software update recall from Honda.  This is no small difference either, we’re talking about a difference of about 20 MPG here.  This makes the extra $6,000-$7,000 Honda buyers pay for a Hybrid Civic, as compared to a regular Civic, in order to get Hybrid mileage they advertise and spend less on gas, virtually worthless — there is no point in paying extra for a Hybrid.

I know I’ll never in my lifetime trust Honda now in regards to their Hybrid cars.  And really this has soured me overall on Honda as a company.  In full disclosure, I know two very happy Honda Fit owners (neither are hybrids though).  I personally am a very happy Toyota Corolla owner, since I got rid of my Nissan Sentra SE-R, my four-year nightmare of a car, and so far Toyota as a company has been great, and I feel very secure that I made a sound investment in my Corolla.

Through my ordeal with Nissan, I learned how horrible some of these car manufacturers are – Nissan North America, Inc.  is by far the worse corporation I’ve ever dealt with in my life because of all the lies they tell, because I found evidence (Technical Service Bulletins) that the issue with my car was a known issue, and even after I presented them with the TSB’s, Nissan continued to stonewall me and even hired a lawyer who offered me nothing worthy and was not interested in really fixing the situation (it was finally a General Manager at Power Nissan of South Bay, a dealership which is a separate business from the manufacturer, who finally bought back my Sentra).

Honda seems to be on the level of Nissan though with the way they fought Heather Peters case and with the lies Honda continued to tell.  Even after a court found in her favor, instead of just owning up to the false advertisement, Honda decided to appeal and get their big corporate attorneys to beat Peters on some complex federal regulations.

Kudos to you Honda for beating Peters on the appeal and saving that whopping $9,867.19.  Now me and many others will never buy a Honda ever in our lifetime because we can no longer trust Honda as a company and manufacturer of quality cars. You surely won the battle against Peters, but you lost the PR war and many future sales.  All this over $9,867.19 – now I’m no business major but that doesn’t seem like smart math to me.

Here is Heather Peters press release today:

banner 8 and a half

Honda Wins Small Claims Battle,

Loses Public Relations War

United States, California, Los Angeles, May 8, 2012 – Last February a small-claims court in California ordered Honda to pay Civic Hybrid owner Heather Peters $9,867.19 for falsely advertising 50 MPG city and highway. Instead of owning up to its mistake, Honda hired a national law firm with more than 800 lawyers to appeal her win. Lawyers are not allowed in small claims court in California, but they are allowed on appeal where losses are re-tried in their entirety.

After three days of testimony on Honda’s appeal, Honda’s dream team of lawyers, led by Roy Brisbois, founding partner of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard and Smith LLP, convinced Superior Court Judge Dudley W. Gray, II to overturn Peters’ victory. Honda cited reams of complex federal regulations that it claimed required advertising of fuel economy numbers that the EPA itself had determined were inflated. Peters’ reaction to the ruling was:

“It’s a sad day when regulations designed to protect consumers are used against them. I’m certain that the EPA and FTC never intended to shield Honda from liability for advertising claims that a court of law determined to be false.”

A 178-page EPA report of 2006 found that hybrids in general have a greater sensitivity to operating conditions than conventional vehicles. The report states that hybrids “can either take full advantage of the hybrid technology or essentially nullify it” and found that the EPA testing methods overstated city fuel economy of the Honda Civic Hybrid by 85% when compared to the onroad testing of Consumer Reports.  Click here to read full report –

Nevertheless, Judge Gray found that Honda complied with EPA and FTC regulations. Peters does not fault Judge Gray for applying a poorly-crafted consumer regulatory scheme beyond his control, but she is urging the FTC and EPA to revisit the regulations to better protect consumers.

Regardless of Honda’s victory in this small claims appeal, it has suffered an enormous public relations loss. The Peters case was widely publicized in over 1,000 news stories globally which have given a great deal of negative publicity to the automotive giant. Peters says:

“Of course I’m disappointed, but I’m still glad that I raised awareness that Honda is no longer the great brand that it used to be.  They used to go the extra mile in customer service, now the go the extra mile fighting customers in court. I guess the moral of the story is buyer beware – especially of Honda!

The court decision is now final as California’s small claims court rules do not allow for further appeals.  Click here to read the Court’s ruling – Honda Final Decision

A recent settlement of class action litigation regarding the same claims raised by Peters may help other Civic Hybrid owners collect a nominal cash award and coupons towards future Honda or Acura purchases.  Peters urges anyone who owned or leased a 2003-2009 Civic Hybrid to read about their rights at  1,705 people who opted out of the class action settlement may possibly be able to opt back in.  The Settlement Administrator is available to answer questions about the terms of the settlement and about the possibility of opting back in.  Call 877-465-4797 and press “9” to skip the recordings and speak to a human.

March 28, 2012

More websites that report inaccuracy on Carfax Reports

So it’s not just me who has discovered inaccuracy on Carfax reports.  Here are a few more websites who have uncovered the same:

Consumer Affairs —  CARFAX: Not Always All the Facts

“CARFAX Cost Seller Thousands…Consumers we interviewed also say CARFAX refused to honor its much touted buyback guarantee….When I tried to get CARFAX to honor its buyback guarantee, no one there would get back to me,” she says. “CARFAX wouldn’t even acknowledge my claim… Nationally recognized consumer attorney Bernard Brown, who specializes in car fraud cases, says CARFAX’s guarantee is ‘utterly worthless except to mislead the public.’

‘I think CARFAX represents a greater harm to used car buyers than all the odometer fraud and flood-damaged vehicles out there,’ says John Adams, president of Auto P.I. Used Car Inspections in Austin, Texas….Adams says consumers shouldn’t waste their money on a CARFAX report.

Chris Basso, media relations manager, says…’If we identify a record that needs to be corrected, we’ll correct it.'”

[Well I’m going to reach out to Chris Basso’s Facebook page here: and see if he cares to comment on why Carfax refused to update that report on my former car with legitimate dealership invoices and why Universal City Nissan is not one of their trusted sources.]

Consumer Affairs: Carfax Inaccuracies

What To Do When The CarFax Report Is Wrong

Pissed Consumer: Carfax reports inaccurate cost me $2,500 on trade


Pissed Consumer: Carfax failed to reveal a prior accident on my report

A Vehicle History Report is Not a Pre-Purchase Inspection: Seven problems with a Carfax (or any Vehicle History report)



See all my other articles on the inaccuracy of both Carfax and AutoCheck (an Experian company) here:



Changing the world one post at a time

March 17, 2012

Bill Mastroianni, General Manager of Universal City Nissan, refuses to issue refund or respond to allegations

As you’ll see in my post here, I wrote the Better Business Bureau in 2010 regarding Universal City Nissan (UCN), where I had the 2002 Nissan Sentra SE-R VIN#: 3N1AB51A92L727519 (abbrev. VIN #: 3N1AB51A92L) in 12 times and they never fixed it correctly.  In their response, UCN lied to the BBB stating  that I’ve “never been charged for any work done at Universal City Nissan.”  Well, I was charged twice in January 2009.

The first time I was charged at Universal City Nissan was on or around 1/9/2009 for $449.00 after I brought the Sentra in when it wouldn’t start.  Codes from ECM that were pulled included P0605, Po183, P2128, P1229, P0122. So they replaced ECM unit (the first time they did that, they replaced another one later) and performed a main harness pin test and repaired a fuel pump wire in main harness.

Then two weeks later, on or around 1/28/2009, the Service Engine Soon Light came on, and the ECM pulled Code P0455 which they said was an evap gross leak and UCN repaired fuel lines and replaced an “O” Ring.  UCN charged me $302.00 for this repair – and I always felt ripped off since they did that.  I figured though they knew what they were doing and this time the car would be fixed.  Boy was I wrong.

Five months later on or around 6/6/2009, the Sentra stalled on the highway, and all UCN did was resecure the gas cap.  One month later on or around 7/12/2009, the SESL light came on again and there was no power, and UCN said the ECM pulled code Code PO233 so they replaced Throttle Chamber (of which they ended up replaced 2 more after this), and so on and so on.  I had this Sentra into Universal City Nissan 12 times in three years and they were never able to fix it.

Owning this Sentra and the fact that UCN was never able to properly fix the car was a total nightmare for me.  So I don’t think I should have to pay for the fixes in 2009, the total of $751.00, that never properly fixed the vehicle.

So I emailed Bill Mastroianni, General Manager of Universal City Nissan, at on February 23, 2012, and he failed to acknowledge or answer the email.  So I then mailed him a letter on Friday, March 9, and once again, he failed to acknowledge or answer the letter.  So I follow up with another email yesterday, and Mr. Mastroianni finally answers me and emails:

From: Bill Mastroianni <>
Date: Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Subject: RE: refund for $751.00
To: Dontbuy Nissan <>

Shanna, I’ve sent you this 3 times

Where are we at……

If we owe something we’ll pay it, if we don’t and this is some sort of threat let me know that too


So I thank Mr. Mastroianni for his quick response yesterday, and tell him I’m available to talk if he wishes to speak with me, and I explain the situation again and tell him I’d be willing to send him my 100+ page document of all my correspondence with UCN over the three years, including lies I was told by Service Rep Eric Diaz, misinformation by former Service Manager Juan Beccera and current SM Melvyn Lemus.

So Mr. Mastroianni emails me back:
From: Bill Mastroianni <>
Date: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM
Subject: RE: refund for $751.00
To: Dontbuy Nissan <>,
Cc:, billie jo haynes <>

Sounds to me that the factory owes you the money not the dealer

If this is from 2009, I owe you nothing

Please stop sending me threatening correspondence


I respond:

It was your mechanics at Universal City Nissan on 12 different occasions that never fixed my car properly.  It was your mechanics and your service department on 1/28/2009 charged me another $302 to fix some wire just two weeks after charging me $449 to fix some other wire.

It was your service department in December 2010 who promised me a ride to work after bringing my car in the 12th time, then skipped over me, and I almost waited an hour because they couldn’t find keys to apparently the only car on the entire lot that could give me a ride, therefore I had to end up renting a car so I could get to work, and then Juan Beccera told me he would look into getting that reimbursed, and when I come to pick up my car 5 days later cause it took them so long to fix it and no one called me when it was ready, he charges me for the 5 day rental and makes me wait to get a check from Nissan Corporate.  Customer service wise, Mr. Beccera should have just picked up the rental, because I still got reimbursed for it, but now I am an upset customer.

It was your service department who on 2/2/12 after my car broke down for the 20th time promised me if I had my car towed in there by AAA they would diagnose it since it was already in there 12 times, and then after my car was towed into your dealership, my car preceded to sit there all day long until I CALLED at 3:45pm  to be told UCN wasn’t even going to diagnose it and that UCN was turning my car away.

It was your dealership who expressly lied to the Better Business Bureau on 1/18/2011 when they said “[He] has never been charged for any work done at Universal City Nissan” because obviously I have been charged – the $751 in 2009.

All of these things are under you, you or whoever the GM was at the time and is your responsibility.  And if I would have known to talk tot he GM, if any SM would have told me that, I would have done it much sooner.

Nissan corporate didn’t charge me that $751, Universal City Nissan did, and the services your dealership performed never fixed the car.

So once again, due to all of the reasons mentioned above, I respectfully request that you refund this money so this long drawn out dispute can finally end.  Thank you.


And Mr. Mastroianni emails back:

From: Bill Mastroianni <>
Date: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 4:40 PM
Subject: RE: refund for $751.00
To: Dontbuy Nissan <>
Cc:,, billie jo haynes <>

I told you, I’m done

STOP emailing me

We do not want your business


As you can see from Mr. Mastroianni’s response, he does not even respond at all to any of the allegations of the way I was treated by his dealership, which was either under his management or whoever was General Manager at the time.  He also does not respond to the 12 times I had this Sentra into his dealership and the fact that they never fixed it properly.  Nor does he respond to the fact that his dealership lied to the Better Business Bureau.

My interpretation of this is that Mr. Bill Mastroianni does not care about customers at all or the fact that his incompetent mechanics there at UCN cannot fix cars.  My interpretation is that Mr. Mastroianni runs a dealership that does not stand behind their service department or anything that any of their employees do.

I would also like to point out that one of the people he is ccing on his email, Billy Jo Haynes (, is Melvyn Lemus’s boss (or so I was told). After Mr. Lemus promised to diagnose this Sentra after I had it towed in there on 2/2/12 by AAA and then refused to do so, I left a message for Ms. Haynes. Ms. Haynes never returned my phone call. Once again, showing, in my opinion, that management just doesn’t care about customers at Universal City Nissan.

It’s quite unfortunate that Mr. Mastroianni is no Omar Gulam, General Manager of Power Nissan.  Upon contacting Mr. Gulam on February 17, 2012, he immediately contacted me and in one phone conversation solved my dispute with Power Nissan and with my Sentra. Mr. Gulam was a standup guy who said he even looked at my website and couldn’t believe what I had been through the previous four years and immediately solved the situation.  Mr. Gulam clearly cares about customers and cares about customer service, whereas Mr. Mastroianni clearly does not, as Mr. Mastroianni didn’t even read or respond to the information I both emailed him and mailed him.

Check out the Yelp reviews on Universal City Nissan (for some reason there are three different pages for the same dealership): – 54 reviews, average rating: 1.5 stars – 2 reviews, average rating: 1.5 stars – 43 reviews, average rating 2 stars

Here are just a few blurbs from what some of the other yelpers say about just the service department of Universal City Nissan:

Worst dealership ever.  I have dropped thousands of dollars here and been countless times, trying to get them to correct their own shoddy work.  They will take advantage of you whenever they can.  Not only that, but service advisers have tried to convince me to buy parts from their shady friends instead of from the dealership.  WTF??… I reported Universal City Nissan to the BAR and they agreed to send me a check for $1000 for their shady activities.  I’ll let you know if they ever follow through with it.  – Ashley H.

Is it possible to be less than one star???  I agree with Ashley that this is the worst car dealership ever -especially the service department.  I thought the days of sexism from car dealerships were over; yet, Universal City Nissan has proven me wrong.  After treating me as if I didn’t exist and only speaking to my husband, I chastised the serviceman.  He THEN it turns out actually SABOTAGED my car and tried to charge me for it despite the car having been purchased brand new at their dealership six months prior.  My car is now in at another dealership being actually repaired and fixing their shoddy work will take about a week.  Unbelieveable.  I will NEVER go there again. – Leslie P.

Good commercials…terrible service.  45 minutes for an oil change -Justtwo B.

The service department is pretty painful. -Erika E.

Avoid their service department…Never again will I bring my car to this service team. Worst. Experience. Ever. – Tim B.

This is for the SERVICE DEPARTMENT only. Took my brand new Juke in several times for minor window issues and brake squeaking. Twice I showed up and was told I had no appointment. UGH. Once I was told they couldn’t take care of all my issues because it’s too much for them to do on a Saturday EVEN THOUGH the person who scheduled me knew exactly what I was going in for initially. – Mayte D.

These reviews are no joke.  Car repair is rarely a fun experience but these guys make the worst of it.  The experience itself was pretty below average, fairly expensive, and fairly slow.  What happened afterward is what really is mind boggling though.  In May 2009 I had the transmission in my pathfinder replaced at Universal City Nissan. I was told that I had a 12,000 mile, 12 month warranty on the parts and labor. In December 2009 (8,000 miles later) a torque converter bolt that was not properly tightened during the procedure came loose and caused internal damage to the transmission (flex plate, crank sensor, etc.) This damage and it’s cause was diagnosed by Beaverton Nissan in Beaverton, Oregon. Not only has Universal City Nissan not honored their warranty, they have actually refused to return phone calls or communicate with me or the Beaverton dealership on the subject.  They’re pretty much acting like babies.  I’m still kind of in disbelief over the whole thing.  You should never, ever go here for any reason. – Braden S.

I’ve never written a review before but the service here was so atrocious that I felt compelled to sign up and comment. If I could I would give these morons zero stars. From the moment I dropped the car off my bad experience started snowballing. Despite the fact that I called the day before to let them know I’d be dropping the car off they didn’t even look at the car on day 1. No biggie, i thought. Day 2: still hadn’t started. Ok, so they are busy, i’ll relax. Day 3 – David calls me to tell me they still haven’t looked at it yet. Thanks for the courtesy call. Day 4: finally, they checked it out, need to order part that won’t arrive for 3 days. Day 7: part arrived, but it is the wrong one! Day 9: car finally finished!  When i went to pick it up the car was filthy (on the inside!) Someone had left their open, albeit finished, soda on the passenger seat along with some dirty rags on the carpet and i noticed dirt and some scratches on the leather seats of my new 370Z! I will never bring my car back here! Don’t trust these idiots! – Ali K.

After several bad experiences at Universal, I will never take my car back there again.  By way of ONE example, they quoted me $2,400 to replace the exhaust manifold.  I called three other repair facilities, quoting between $500 and $800 to do the very same work.  When I brought this to the attention of the folks at Universal, they revised their estimate to $1,200. I’m wondering why their initial quote wasn’t $10,000 or a million dollars. Why not, right?   Again, I have no problem paying a bit more at the dealership, but this is something entirely different.  And I have other stories, but why belabor this.  I expect most folks are like me, in that they expect honesty and quality when taking their car to the dealership, but willing to pay a bit more for that peace of mind.  We take our cars to dealerships to avoid the classic auto repair run-around, not to find that our dealership is playing the same game.  *sigh*  – Christopher L.

Worst dealership I have ever brought a car to.  Bar none.  The staff are rude, the service is horrible.  The waiting area is uncomfortable and makes you just want to go for a walk.  The entire experience makes you feel as though you are being held hostage.  I would never, ever come back here. – T-K.

I didn’t really have a problem with the speed of the service here, as much as the fact that they totally tried to rip me off. Like the guy below me, I never would have taken my car here, except for the fact that I too have an extended warranty. So basically to make a long story short, they told me that the major problem was, in fact, under warranty, but that it was being cause by dirty filters that would cost a hundred bucks to clean. I called my own mechanic to ask him if I was being BSed and he said I definitely was, so I just had the warranty work done and from now on, I’m taking my car to Glendale Nissan where they’re only half-shady. – April D.

this is the WORST PLACE  !! They are such jerks. ZERO customer service. they leave you standing there and dont tell you anything. They went through my things on one visit. and on another visit they left my car smelling like sweat and BO !!  SICK! Never again ! – Rox I.

i got my car from them and within the first month i was having issues with the fuel system and the transmission.  the friggin car is brand new so i shouldnt have had any issues. i have taken it back several times and they keep saying they cannot duplicate the problem. so i told the guy i must be a mental case fif i am  feeling things that dont exist! just look at the car again.  they are completely dishonest!  no one want to replace the car and i have called nissan corp on them. so now im stuck with a broken car with less than 5000 miles on it.  the sales reps and the service techs are all in on it they pay each other to lie so that they get their commission. – Senna H.

The only reason I take my car to get service at a dealership is because I have an extended warranty.  If you don’t have that, I think the prices are outrageously expensive.  My car wouldnt start on a sunday morning so I got a jumpstart and took it there by 10am.  I was waiting for 20 mins so I could pull my car in the service area because there was a line.  Then I told my situtation with an “advisor”.  I was told they would look at it today.  I then took a taxi home cause I guess on Sundays they dont have free shuttle service.  I waited all day and they never called me.  I got a call at 4pm saying they didnt have time to look at it and expect a call the next day by noon.  So i wait till mon its noon and surprise they havent called me back.  I call them, and find my advisor is missing in action, nobody knows where she is at, and nobody knows whats going on with my car.  I wait another 3 hours and find out they finally diagnosed my car and it just needed a new battery.  So I say fine can you do it today?  They say they can do it in the morning.  So i finally get my baterry done on tues morning and pick up my car.  3 days to install a freakin baterry.  thats horrible.  horrible customer service.  idiotic service advisors who have no clue what service at a dealership is supposed to be.  im never taking my car here ever again, its total imcompentence here.  be warned. – I. S.

Thankfully I didn’t buy my car here (they’ve taken enough of my money), but I used to take my car here all the time for service.  This place is the worst of the worst, if I could give it -5 stars, I would.  Stay far away from this place unless you enjoy getting majorly overcharged and waiting 3 hours for an oil change.  The customer service is abysmal, and every time I took my car in, I’d end up leaving with a $500 bill for fluid flushes and parts I’ve never heard of.  Apparently my second x chromosome is an excuse to totally screw me since I don’t know a lot about cars.  At most service centers, as soon as they see you pull up, they come right over to your car to check you in.  Not here, you have to send up a signal flare to get any attention and pull the techs away from their computer video games.  The place is huge and they consistently over-book their appointments.  And if they need your car overnight, you have to beg for a rental, and then walk 3 blocks to get it yourself.  Yeah I know this isn’t a Mercedes or BMW dealership, but come on people. – Anna S.

I took my Nissan to the service department for years. I was satisfied with their service, although it was very expensive. But recently, I found out that the service dept lied about repairs my car needed. It recommended 1000 dollars worth of repairs. When they were slow to order parts and I had to move, I took my car out and took my car to a local service shop after I moved to the Silicon Valley, and they told me none of the repairs were necessary. I am completely appalled and disgusted and wonder now how many repairs over the last decade were really necessary. Do not take your car to their service dept! – Dani E.

Bill Mastroianni, the General Manager, at the end of the day is responsible for all of these customers being upset because he is the head manager of the dealership.  As you can see, from the way he treated me, in my opinion, he clearly doesn’t care about customer service or doing fair business or trying to ensure his service department fixes cars correctly.

That is why you:






Changing the world one post at a time

My aim is to give a truthful, accurate account of the four year nightmare of owning my Nissan Sentra and the stress, exhaustion, and anger I experienced dealing with Nissan Corp. and the three dealerships. If anyone I mention here or elsewhere on my blog wishes to email me with any comments on anything I say, or wishes to contradict or challenge anything I say, I will be more than happy to review any comments, to post your comments and then comment on them myself, or remove anything that I find out to be inaccurate.