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February 15, 2012

Universal City Nissan lied to the Better Business Bureau

I reviewed my complaint with the Better Business Bureau filed 12/03/10 against Universal City Nissan and they outright lied to the BBB in their response.  In their response, Universal City Nissan wrote, I have “never been charged for any work done at Universal City Nissan.” This is absolutely untrue as I have paid Universal City Nissan $751 to fix my car in January 2009 and their fixes never fixed the idling/shut down problem or the SESL light that continued to come on.

I also find it amusing that Universal City Nissan says I can “call NISSAN the factory if he feels the vehicle is defective and they can open a claim, which in turn they will send a FACTORY technician out to our dealership to check vehicle. NISSAN the factory can then make the determination of what the vehicle needs or deem it to be unrepairable” because I have done exactly that. I have opened 8 files with Nissan Corp., the mechanics at Universal City Nissan have been on the phone with Nissan’s Tech line, and Nissan has sent out a DTS, and still my Sentra shuts off while idling after all of that, AND STILL Nissan refuses to offer a settlement to buyback my Sentra.

Here is the full BBB complaint along with Universal City Nissan’s response:


Complaint ID: 98570675

Complaint Details:

Universal City Nissan, Inc.
3550 West Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90068-1304
Contact: Vasquez, Albert
Phone:(818) 769-8100

Complaint Description – Posted 12/3/2010 11:17:56 AM

Problem # /Date/Problem/Solution #1 1/31/08/Service Engine Soon (SES) Light/Recall R0712 – Reprogram ECM (update of the software). Evap Leak (#1), Resecure fuel cap #2 8/23/08/SES/Idle Air Control Reset (#1): Performed Idle Air Relearn, Reset ECM set idle, Adjust Idle Control Valve. $165 #3 1/9/09/Car won’t start/Codes P0605, Po183, P2128, P1229, P0122. Replace ECM unit (#1) due to pulling too many codes // Main harness pin test, repair fuel pump wire in main harness, $449.00 #4 1/28/09/SES / Code P0455 Evap gross leak (#2). Repair Fuel lines, replace “O” Ring, $302.00. #5 6/6/09/SES, stalls on highway/Code P1456 Evap very small leak (#3), recurred gas cap. #6 7/12/09/SES, no power/Code PO233, replace Throttle Chamber (#1) #7 7/21/09 / SES / Code P1456 Evap small leak (#4), replaced vent control valve #8 7/28/09 / Car shuts off in traffic / Performed air idle learn (#2) #9 12/2/09 / Car shifting hard / Santa Monica Nissan determines there is no communication between the sensor and the ECM (computer), which means it’s an electrical problem, and they want to do a pin test for $575 #10 12/7/09 / SES / Replaced Throttle Assembly (#2) #11 12/24/09 / SES / replace radiator #12 4/24/10 / SES / Diagnostics showed TP Sensor, performed Idle Control Learn Volume (#3) #13 5/12/10 / SES, car stalls / Replace Throttle Body Sensor (#3) #14 11/6/10 / SES / Repaired Ground Wire at ECM #15 11/16/10 / car shuts off in traffic / replace ECM, charge $111.50 for car rental

Complaint Summary

Over the past 3 years, I’ve had my car into Nissan 15 times for service. They have yet to fix it. Every few weeks to 7 months I have to bring it back.

Resolution Sought

I want Nissan to recall the car and exchange for a similar car in return.

Company’s Response

Company’s Initial Response – Posted 01/18/2011
Although vehicle was not purchased through Universal City Nissan, we have made an effort on our end to repair vehicle. [He] has never been charged for any work done at Universal City Nissan because it has all been taken care of by the warranty he has on vehicle. He has taken it to Santa Monica Nissan for work on certain problems that had arisen with the vehicle and may have been charged at that dealership. We understand [him] and would like to help. He can call NISSAN the factory if he feels the vehicle is defective and they can open a claim, which in turn they will send a FACTORY technician out to our dealership to check vehicle. NISSAN the factory can then make the determination of what the vehicle needs or deem it to be unrepairable.
Initial Response Summary
Vehicle has been repaired and covered under factory warranty.

Consumer’s Rebuttal

Consumer’s Rebuttal – Posted 01/19/2011
Universal City Nissan (UCN), in addition to NISSAN Corporate, continue with their lies and total disregard for my case.I was charged $449 on 1/9/09, & on 1/28 another $302 by UCN, both times for wires, I have the receipts to prove it. The next 13 times they covered under warranty after much argument, yet continued to not fix my car properly. My car has been out of service 76 days in 3 years. It’s had 3 throttle bodies and 2 ECMs and a Certified Nissan Tech has told me there is no way these parts could have gone bad in this amount of time–that it is due to incompetent mechanics not spending the time to find the real problem, which is most likely wires and/or the main harness.I have opened three files with NISSAN:6543356, 6671333N, 6989291, and they have yet to send out a FACTORY technician even after I requested it. UCN knows this because I have given Juan Beccera (Service Manager) my long document with all my correspondence. On 12/2/10, David Larush, Regional Specialist under file # 6989291 offered me a 100,000 mile/7yr warranty and then reneged on it after realizing the 7 years had already passed, even though it clearly stated my car was a 2002 in the 15 invoices I sent him.

Company’s Final Response
Company’s Final Response – None Posted




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.




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:, “Baumgartner, Mary” <>
Cc: “Garcia, Mike” <>

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.

Nissan Sentra DTS letter & file 010512

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.

January 6, 2012

Trust & Accountability: A Plea to Make the Situation Right

One of my biggest complaints with Nissan as a company, and now Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc., is trust and accountability.  Mike Garcia of Power Nissan; Melody Benedict of Nissan Consumer Affairs (in the office of Mary Baumgartner, Senior Manager, Consumer Affairs); and Kelly Ochoa, Project Engineering, Technician; and Kunihiko Ohnumaat, CEO, of Hitachi Automotive, all have the power to change that by stepping up and doing the right thing this time, the 18th time I’ve had my Sentra into a Nissan dealership when I’ve already had 3 ETB’s and 2 ECU’s (made by Hitachi Automotive) replaced, and either fix my car properly or offer me a replacement car (or the value I paid for the car, plus all my expenses during this four year ordeal).

I’ve been lied to many times by representatives of Nissan and although I keep detailed records of everyone I speak to, no one seems to be held accountable for anything they say or do.  Nissan just doesn’t care.  The biggest lie of course being “this will fix your car” which I’ve been told on 17 previous occasions and they have yet to fix the electrical problems with my car.  As are documented in my Yelp reviews and the “DETAILED NOTES WITH NISSAN” section in the document in the research section, here are the blatant lies I’ve been told:

  • The first time the ETB (Electronic Throttle Body) supposedly needed replacement, Eric Diaz of Universal City Nissan quoted me $100 more for the part than their own parts department.  Eric Diaz lied.
  • David Larush, Regional Specialist told me, “We are prepared to offer you an extended warranty on the mechanical components for 7 years / 100,000 miles –whichever comes first.”   I asked if this covered the ECM and ETB and wires – the parts that have been continually being fixed and replaced – and he answered no, he’d have to look into getting the warranty to cover “electrical” as well.   I then asked 7 years from when, and he answered the original purchase date of the car – which was 2002 – therefore since it was now 2010, 7 years has already expired, therefore this warranty is no good.  Therefore he reneged his offer of an extended warranty and refused to extend the warranty to 100,000 miles.  David Larush lied.  A Nissan Consumer Affairs representative even told me, “ that was incompetent of him” to offer the warranty.
  • Chris Weir, Service Manager, at Santa Monica Nissan through the request of David Larush agreed to provide a rental should my car break down again.  When it did break down again, there was a new Service Manager at Santa Monica Nissan, and he refused to honor Chris’s promise of a rental.  [Now Santa Monica Nissan is closed… I wonder why with this great service and honor].
  • During one of the many files I opened with corporate, I was told by Kate x41573 that I would get a call by the end of the next business day.  A day later  Maryanne Grundle x41461 tells me  “the file was closed and this was due to Kate using a template that said at the bottom that she couldn’t give me her info or file # therefore the file is closed” – whatever that means.  Maryanne corrected this and assured me I would get a phone call by 5pm that day.  No phone call came.  The next day  the file now says I will receive a call by 5:00pm today, although she confirms that yesterday it said 5pm for yesterday.  Complete disorganization, incompetence, and lies.
  • Shanell Russell, Regional Specialist, told me she didn’t get any of my voicemails because of their new voicemail system (OK, I can’t prove this one, but seriously that’s a lame excuse and just shows incompetence on the part of Nissan for not having a reliable voicemail system in this day and age).
  • During a discussion with Juan Beccera, Service Manager at Universal City Nissan, where I was requesting that he pay for the rental car since they were replacing the ECU for the second time, they took five days to do this, and no one called me the day before when my car was ready, he said, “We’re done. We can no longer fix your car for free.”  The problem with this statement is: NISSAN HAS NEVER FIXED MY CAR.  It has now broken down for the 18th time.  Juan Becerra lied and made me go through corporate to be reimbursed for the car rental.  Hey Juan, I still got reimbursed.  You could have made it easier on me if you would have just not charged me in the first place, and not hijacked my car until I paid for the rental.

I truly hope that once and for all Nissan will step up to the plate, that Mike, Melody, Mary, Kelly and  Kunihiko will do everything in their power to fix my car once and for all, or make this situation right.  In all good conscience there is just no way these representatives of their companies could come to me now, after this four year trauma, after hundreds of dollars spent not only to the Nissan dealerships, but in round trip gas money, time off from work, pain and suffering from all the fear, anxiety and depression I’ve experienced during this entire ordeal including not knowing when and if my car will break down on me again – there is just no way they can come to me now in everything that is right and just in this world and fail to correct the situation.  I am making a plea to all of them to do the right thing here, correct this situation once and for all, try to reinstate the dignity and good name that Nissan once held by at least making one customer happy – be trustworthy and accountable for your company, please.

I hope they will.  I should know more Tuesday, January 10th after the DTS examines my car.