February 1, 2012

Car shuts down again. Nissan won’t accept responsibility.  Will our government do anything?

As you see from Nissan’s response yesterday (“Nissan is not in a position to repurchase your vehicle”…), Nissan is still taking no responsibility and refuses to do nothing for the known idling/shut down issue with the Sentra.  I’ve reached out to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) in the past, and they have visited Universal City Nissan and Power Nissan, and I appreciate that.  However nothing was accomplished.  I have reached out to them again, my letter is below, and I hope they can accomplish something this time.  I should also note that my car shut off on me twice yesterday, again.


January 31, 2012

Mike Barbee
Program Representative I
California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Automotive Repair
Culver City Field Office
(310) 410-0024 ext. 1919    /
Fax (310) 410-0159

CC Anna Naraeva, Escalation Team Supervisor, Consumer Affairs, 615-725-7376, Anna.Naraeva@nissan-usa.com
Melody Benedict, Consumer Affairs, 615-725-7514, Melody.Benedict@nissan-usa.com
Mary Baumgartner, Senior Manager,  Consumer Affairs, 615-725-7255, mary.baumgartner@nissan-usa.com
John Bolter, Service Manager, Power Nissan, 310-536-7667, BolterJ@autonation.com
Mike Garcia, Assistant Service Manager, Power Nissan, 310-536-7667,garciam6@autonation.com
Melvyn Lemus, Service Manager, Universal City Nissan, 310-271-3476, melvynl@sageauto.com

Re: My car breaks down again today, and it’s been into 3 Nissan Dealerships 18 times for same/similar electrical idling/shutdown problems

Dear Mr. Barbee,
I received your message today regarding my recent complaint to the Bureau of Auto Affairs.  Thank you for responding and I appreciate you going out to Power Nissan earlier this year and to Universal City Nissan in the past.  However, nothing has been accomplished yet, and really I believe my complaint should be against Nissan Corporate.  I am hoping you can help with Nissan Corporate, which has an agent here in Gardena, CA, and I have the contact info above of everyone I’ve been dealing with at Nissan Corporate/Consumer Affairs in TN.

I believe I explained in my complaint what the issue is, that my Sentra intermittently shuts down.  It shut down on me 12/30/11, again on 12/31/11, and then I need to inform you and everyone that it shut down again just today, twice.  Normally it shuts down soon after starting, while at a red light, while the car is idling, and the RPM usually goes up and down before shutting off.

Today (Tuesday) it was a bit different though – both times, the car had been running for awhile, the first time this morning for about 20 minutes, then while idling at a red light, the car just shut off – I did not notice the RPM go up and down, it just lost power.  I turned the car back on and it was fine until I got to work.  Then this evening I was in town and then on the highway for at least 30 mins, then when I hit a dead stop in traffic on the highway, the car shut off again – and again, I did not notice an RPM fluctuation, it just shut off.  It turned back on, drove fine to where I was going, then drove fine all the way back home.  Also, on 12/20/11 the SESL light came on, I took it into Power Nissan, and the code for the “TP Sensor” came on, which is part of the Electronic Throttle Body which I’ve had 3 of those replaced already.  Pedro, Power Nissan’s Master Technician, under the advisement of Joe S. the DTS, only did a Idle Air Control Volume Relearn, which had been done 4 times before on my car, and Mike Garcia, Assistant Service Manager, assured me that’s all that was wrong – yet a little over a week later my car shut down on me again.

I recently asked Nissan Consumer Affairs to buyback my vehicle which I believe was under warranty when I first had it into the dealer, and also I believe the 12 month/12,000 miles warranty was extended each time I paid the dealer because the defect was never fixed.  Anna Naraeva, Escalation Team Supervisor, Consumer Affairs (615-725-7376, anna.naraeva@nissan-usa.com) emailed me with Nissan’s response from their arbitration department, with the ironic comment that Nissan is “interested in winning lifelong customers” yet Nissan “is not in the position to repurchase your vehicle at this time” which basically makes no sense whatsoever because they want me to be a lifelong customer but fail to do anything about this very dangerous car that continues to shut down.

Power Nissan had my Sentra for 2 weeks from 12/31/11- 1/14/12, Joe S. a DTS (Dealership Technician Specialist) came out, and they all did nothing to my car and refused to even look at or consider the Technical Service Bulletins that directly describe the idling/shut down problems with the Sentras, proving this idling/shut down problem is a known issue with Nissan.  The Three Technical Service Bulletins are available below in the “SMOKING GUN: TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN” section.  I also discuss why I believe my car is covered under Nissan’s own warranty of service which is on the back of their service invoices.  My car has now been out of service 90 days in 4 years.

You will also notice that an independent mechanic, Donald Rivas at CarZone (818-373-1330, donald@carzoneautorepair.com), a shop that specializes in Nissan’s, has verified the shut down problem with my car – you are welcome to contact him for his input and the invoices are below in the CarZone section.

Also please notice all the complaints, especially the most recent from Nicholle Montalvo, from other Nissan Sentra owners that are experiencing the same or similar problems to me – I have an analysis of how many Sentras have shut down, ECU’s replaced just like mine, ETB’s just like mine, and some who have even had to have their entire engines replaced.  Included are complaints filed with the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration.

Please take all of this into consideration.  Any help from the Bureau of Auto Repairs to persuade Nissan to buyback this car, so that this dangerous vehicle can be off the road so that no harm comes to myself or to others would be much appreciated.

I thank you for your time.

Again, I truly appreciate Mr. Barbee’s consideration, time, and help in the past and truly hope something can be accomplished this time.