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:

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January 25, 2012

Attn: Anna Naraeaa
CC: Melody Benedict & Mary Baumgartner
Consumer Affairs
Nissan Motor Corporation
Tel. 615-725-7376 (Anna), 7514 (Melody), 7255 (Mary)
anna.naraeaa@nissan-usa.com, melody.benedict@nissan-usa.com, 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

01/25/2012

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.]

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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.

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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.

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