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,http://www.normantaylor.com/
- NHTSA: File a report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (if enough people do this on your model, they may open an investigation): https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/ – also, research this site and see if there are other reports with your problem.
- LEGAL PROTEST: Here is some helpful into to all call owners: https://dontbuynissan.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/information-for-all-car-owners/ – check out #4 about protesting, another Nissan owner wrote into my blog and did this: https://dontbuynissan.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/universal-city-nissan-calls-police-on-nissan-owner-for-legally-protesting/ – make sure to check local laws – only do this of your own volition.
- NISSAN CONTACTS: As you will see in a comment on the contacts page here: https://dontbuynissan.wordpress.com/contact/ – 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: http://x.nissanhelp.com/forums/Knowledgebase/links/160 (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).
- CONSUMER AGENCY: You may also want to reach out to a consumer agency – for repairs in CA it’s the Bureau of Automotive Repair.
- 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.
- CHANGE.ORG: You may want to start a change.org petition – read more here: https://dontbuynissan.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/change-org-petitions-against-nissan/
- YELP: You can also write a review on Yelp (www.yelp.com) of both the dealership and Nissan Consumer Affairs http://www.yelp.com/biz/nissan-consumer-affairs-franklin, 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.
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.