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February 2, 2012

Brad Thacker, VP, Total Customer Satisfaction – please contact me

Dear Mr. Thacker,

I have contacted you through email and Facebook today.  Can you please contact me back.  I need to speak with you urgently – this email here that was sent to you at your email ( sums up why:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Dontbuy Nissan <>
Date: Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 6:36 PM
Subject: URGENT: Nissan’s Corp.’s letter & conversations with Mel Lemus and Mike Barbee
To: “Naraeva, Anna (EXTERNAL)” <>,,,
Cc: “Baumgartner, Mary” <>, “Benedict, Melody (EXTERNAL)” <>,, “Bolter, John” <>,

To all:
I am in receipt of Anna’s letter from Nissan Corp..  I am very confused after several conversations today with Mel Lemus (Universal City Nissan) and Mike Barbee (Bureau of Auto Affairs) and with the letter on several points:

1) In a conversation I had at 5:20pm with Mel (both of us on our cell phones), Mel told me that Nissan Corporate is not allowing Universal City Nissan to touch my car, and that “Anna [Naraeva] is telling me that if we take in your car, I have to give you a receipt, if I give you a receipt, I directly make Nissan Corp responsible.”  This is in direct contradiction to what the attached letter says, “you are welcome to take your vehicle to a Nissan dealership to get your vehicle repaired with genuine Nissan parts and by Nissan certified technicians at your expense.”

Mel told me at around 7:06am this morning that if I towed in my car, he would offer a free diagnostic.  So that is between me and Universal City Nissan.  Now I had my car towed in based on that information, and around 3:38pm today I find out my car has sat at Universal City Nissan all day long and nothing has been done because Nissan Corp. will not allow Mel to even diagnose my car.  I would not have towed it in there if I had known that.

2)   In a conversation I had with Mike Barbee, he told me he was under the impression Universal City Nissan was denying me service based on what he said Mel told him, that Mel’s Manager told Mel he could not touch my car.  This is a very important point for me, and to include in the file for the Bureau of Auto Repairs – is Nissan Corp. denying me service or is Universal City Nissan denying me service?

In the same 5:20pm conversation with Mel, Mel cleared this up and told me, “Since Nissan Corp. is not allowing Universal City Nissan to even look at the car, Billy Joe Haynes, my Manager, is not allowing me to inspect the car without giving you a receipt, because that receipt would provided a 1 yr/12k mile warranty which indirectly makes Nissan Corp liable for the parts, and we have to refuse service because Nissan Corp. will not back us up on anything we do.” So in essence, Mel is saying Nissan Corp. is refusing to let University City Nissan touch or diagnose my car.  And Mel wants to.  Again, this makes no sense due to the line I quoted above from Nissan Corp’s letter to me.

3) Pursuant to the mention above of the 1 yr/12k mi warranty, Mel and I discussed that I currently have a 1 yr/12 mi warranty with Power Nissan from my service on 12/21/11 when I brought it in and they performed an Idle Air Control Volume Relearn.  He said if I had brought it into Universal City Nissan on 12/21/11, then Universal City would honor that 1 yr/12mi warranty now, today.  So why won’t Power Nissan – or since it is a “Nissan warranty” why can’t Universal City Nissan honor that warranty.  According to Mel, my car indeed is currently under warranty, the 1 yr/12 mi warranty that expires 12/21/12.  And I have spoken with Regional Specialists in the past that told me the 1 yr/12 mi warranty is transferrable to another dealership (I believe it was David Larush who told me this).  So why can’t Universal City Nissan honor the 1 yr/12 mi warranty?

4) During my conversation at 5:25am PST this morning with Anna, after discussing that Nissan Corp is refusing to buyback the car, Anna said something to the effect of “you can try to get Universal City Nissan to buy it back.”  This comment upset Mel, and according to Mel, in his conversation with Anna, she denied saying that.  Well I retort that Anna absolutely said something along those lines, because I would never come up with the idea that a dealership should buy back a car when I believe that it is a manufacturer defect.  If it’s a manufacturer defect, it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility.  Therefore I would not have come up with that idea myself or say it – therefore Anna definitely said something along those lines to me and we discussed it for several minutes as I remember questioning her like, “really, I can ask Universal City Nissan to buy it back when they are the dealer?”

I feel like I am in an episode of The Twilight Zone.  My car has now been sitting for two days broken and nothing has been done with it.  I’m going to have to take the bus to get to work tomorrow, which is about a 2 hr ride with a transfer.

According to Mel Lemus, Universal City Nissan wants to help me out, and I absolutely truly appreciate this, but Nissan Corp. is “not allowing” Universal City Nissan to even diagnose my car.  I do not understand the contradiction of the denial letter which states I can bring my car into any dealership, but Nissan Corp. is not allowing Universal City Nissan to diagnose my car, which they want to do.

Can someone please help me?

January 29, 2012

More Sentra complaints on Consumer Affairs website

Just found many more Nissan Sentra complaints, many of those similar to mine, on the Consumer Affairs website here:

And I’m realizing now that many Sentra owners are having to have parts replaced that are covered under the 8 year/80,000 mile “EPA EMISSIONS WARRANTIES“, and I’m assuming Nissan is charging them – I remember reading in other posts on other forums that people were charged multiple times for the ECU/ECM which is covered under the EPA warranty.  So it appears Nissan has ripped off many of their customers, just like me.

When I have a chance, I’ll look through and do an analysis on the above complaints.

January 29, 2012


I just found this document that explains the EPA emissions warranties with help from a legal forum.  It can be found here:

The Emissions Control parts that are covered include the “the electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU)” and the “electronic control module (unit),” both of which have been reported on my invoices, as well as the “EFI air flow meter” which also has had problems.

Here is the document:

United States                 Air and Radiation      EPA420-F-96-020
Environmental Protection                             March 1996

Office of Mobile Sources
                 EPA Environmental Fact Sheet

                        EMISSIONS WARRANTIES
                 FOR 1995 AND NEWER CARS & TRUCKS

     Federally required emission control warranties protect you, the
vehicle owner, from the cost of repairs for certain emission related
failures that result from manufacturer defects in materials and
workmanship or that cause your vehicle to exceed federal emission
standards. Manufacturers have been required by federal law to provide
emission control coverage for vehicles since 1972.  There are two
federal emission control warranties discussed in this fact sheet: (A)
"Performance Warranty" and (B) "Design and Defect Warranty".  This
fact sheet explains each warranty in detail, provides you with a list
of some of the parts covered under these warranties, explains the
procedures for making an emissions warranty claim, and answers some of
the most commonly asked questions about emissions warranties.
Finally, we will give you some tips on how to prevent future
emission-related failures and maintain the longevity of your vehicle's


     The Performance Warranty covers repairs which are required during
the first 2 years or 24,000 miles of vehicle use because the vehicle
failed an emission test.  Specified major emission control components
are covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles.  If you are a
resident of an area with an Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) program
that meets federal guidelines, you are eligible for this warranty
protection provided that:

    * Your car or light-duty truck fails an approved emissions test;

    * Your vehicle is less than 2 years old and has less than 24,000
      miles (up to 8 years/80,000 miles for certain components); and

    * Your state or local government requires that you repair the
      vehicle; and

    * The test failure does not result from misuse of the vehicle or a
      failure to follow the manufacturers' written maintenance
      instructions; and

    * You present the vehicle to a warranty-authorized manufacturer
      representative, along with evidence of the emission test failure,
      during the warranty period.

     During the first 2 years/24,000 miles, the Performance Warranty
covers any repair or adjustment which is necessary to make your
vehicle pass an approved, locally-required emission test and as long
as your vehicle has not exceeded the warranty time or mileage
limitations and has been properly maintained according to the
manufacturer's specifications.


     The Design and Defect Warranty covers repair of emission related
parts which become defective during the warranty period.  The Design
and Defect warranty for model year 1995 and newer light-duty cars and
trucks is outlined below:

Design and Defect Warranty Coverage for 1995 and newer light-duty

    * Emission control and emission related parts are covered for the
      first 2 years or 24,000 miles of vehicle use; and

    * Specified major emission control components are covered for the
      first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use.

     According to federal law, an emission control or emission related
part, or a specified major emission control component, that fails
because of a defect in materials or workmanship, must be repaired or
replaced by the vehicle manufacturer free of charge as long as the
vehicle has not exceeded the warranty time or mileage limitations for
the failed part.

     Design and Defect Warranty coverage may vary depending on the
type of vehicle you have (e.g., heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles or
recreational vehicles have different time and mileage requirements).
To determine the length of warranty coverage that applies to your
vehicle, look for the emissions warranty information in your owner's
manual or warranty booklet.  If you own a California vehicle, you may
be entitled to additional warranty coverage.

     The owner's manual or warranty booklet will also provide you with
guidance on the procedures for obtaining warranty coverage.  If you
have questions about the emissions warranties on your vehicle or need
help in filing a warranty claim, contact your local car dealer or the
manufacturer's zone or regional representative listed in your owner's
manual or warranty booklet.

What Emission Control and Emission Related Parts Are Covered by The
Design and Defect Warranty?

      An emission control part is any part installed with the primary
purpose of controlling emissions.  An emission related part is any
part that has an effect on emissions.  Listed below are some examples
of parts or systems which fall under these definitions.  A more
complete list can be found in your owner's manual/warranty booklet.
If any of the parts listed below fail to function or function
improperly because of a defect in materials or workmanship, causing
your vehicle to exceed federal emission standards, they should be
repaired or replaced under the emissions warranty if your vehicle is
less than 2 years old and has been driven less than 24,000 miles.  One
manufacturer may use more parts than another, so the following list is
not complete for all vehicles.

                     EMISSION CONTROL PARTS

Exhaust Gas Conversion Systems

        oxygen sensor                    thermal reactor
        catalytic converter              dual-walled exhaust pipe

Exhaust Gas Recirculation System

       EGR valve                         thermal vacuum switch
       EGR solenoid                      EGR spacer plate
       EGR backpressure transducer       Sensor and switches use to
                                         control EGR flow

Evaporative Emission Control System

       purge valve                       fuel filler cap
       purge solenoid                    vapor storage canister and filter

Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) System

       PCV valve                         PCV solenoid

Air Injection System

       Air pump                          diverter, bypass, or gulp valve
       reed valve                        anti-backfire or deceleration valve

Early Fuel Evaporative (EFE) System

       EFE valve                         thermal vacuum switch
       heat riser valve

Fuel Metering System

       electronic control module (unit) or EFI air flow meter, computer
       command module or mixture control unit, deceleration controls,
       electronic choke, fuel injectors, fuel injection units and fuel
       altitude compensator sensor, bars or rails for EFI or TBI systems,
       mixture settings on sealed fuel mixture control solenoid, diaphragm
       or other systems, fuel metering components that achieve closed/other
       feedback control sensors/loop operation switches and valves

Air Induction System

       thermostatically controlled air cleaner, air box

Ignition Systems

       electronic spark advance timing advance/retard systems,
       high energy electronic ignition

Miscellaneous Parts

       hoses, gaskets, brackets, clamps and other accessories used in the
       above systems

                     EMISSION RELATED PARTS

     These are examples of other parts of your vehicle which have a
primary purpose other than emissions control but which nevertheless
have significant effects on your vehicle's emissions.  If any of these
parts fail to function or function improperly, your vehicle's
emissions may exceed federal standards.  Therefore, when any of the
parts of the following systems are defective in materials or
workmanship and have failed in a way that would be likely to cause
your vehicle's emissions to exceed federal standards, they should be
repaired or replaced under the emissions warranty:

Fuel Injection System

       fuel distributor

Air Induction System

       turbocharger                        intake manifold

Exhaust System

       exhaust manifold

Ignition System

       distributor                         spark plugs
       ignition wires and coil

Miscellaneous Parts

       hoses, gaskets, brackets, clamps, and other accessories used in
       the above systems.

What Are Specified Major Emission Control Components?

     There are three specified major emission control components,
covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use on 1995
and newer vehicles:

          * Catalytic converters.

          * The electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU).

          * The onboard emissions diagnostic device or computer (OBD).

     Catalytic converters are critical emission control components
that have been installed on most cars and trucks manufactured since
1975.  Since engines don't burn fuel completely during the combustion
process, the exhaust contains a significant amount of harmful
pollutants such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and oxides of
nitrogen.  The catalytic converter aids the conversion of these
pollutants to less harmful substances such as carbon dioxide, water
vapor, nitrogen, and oxygen before the exhaust is expelled into the

     The electronic emissions control unit or computer monitors
certain powertrain functions and controls various operating parameters
to help the vehicle run efficiently and with the lowest possible
emissions.  Ignition, transmission function, air injection, exhaust
gas recirculation (EGR), engine operating temperature and fuel system
parameters are some of the systems monitored and/or controlled by the
electronic emissions control unit.

     The onboard emissions diagnostic device monitors the operation of
a vehicle's emission control system and alerts the driver with a
dashboard light when malfunctions occur.  The system will record where
the problem is occurring and assist automotive technicians in
diagnosing and repairing emission control malfunctions.  Since some
emission control malfunctions do not have an adverse effect on vehicle
performance, they can go undetected by the driver for quite some time.
The onboard diagnostic device will help catch malfunctions early,
preventing a significant output of harmful exhaust emissions from your
vehicle, and possibly in time to be covered by the emissions control
warranty.  Often this "device" is part of the electronic control unit
mentioned above.

     In the future, there may be other parts or components that
qualify for this coverage. Check your owner's manual or warranty book
for possible additional coverage.

How Long Do the Emissions Warranties Apply to Individual Parts of My

     For 1995 and newer model year vehicles, emission control and
emission related parts are warranted for the first 2 years or 24,000
miles of vehicle use.  Specified major emission-control components are
warranted for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use.

     Parts with a stated replacement interval, such as, "replace at
15,000 miles or 12 months," are warranted up to the first replacement
point only.

How Do I Know Whether I Am Entitled to Coverage Under the Emissions

     If you or a qualified automotive technician can show that an
emission control or emission related component, or a specified major,
emission-control component, is defective, the repair or replacement of
the part is probably covered under the Design and Defect warranty.  If
your vehicle failed a federally approved emissions test and has not
exceeded the time and mileage limitations for the Performance
warranty, any repairs or adjustments necessary for your vehicle to
pass should be covered by the manufacturer if the failure was not
caused by improper maintenance or abuse.  When you believe you have
identified a defective part, or your vehicle fails an emission test,
you should follow the procedures for making a warranty claim as
identified by the manufacturer in your owner's manual or warranty
booklet.  When taking your vehicle in to have repairs performed under
the Performance Warranty, be sure to have with you a copy of the I/M
test report as proof of your emissions test failure.

May I Have My Regular Repair Facility Perform Warranty Repairs?

     If you plan to have the manufacturer pay for a repair under
either of the emissions warranties, you must take the vehicle to a
facility authorized by the vehicle manufacturer for repair to give
them the opportunity to diagnose and repair it.  Note that if your
regular repair facility is not authorized by the vehicle manufacturer,
they are not obligated to advise you of parts that are covered under
warranty.  Before giving your automotive technician the "go ahead" to
perform repairs, check your owner's manual/warranty booklet for
possible warranty coverage.

Do the Emissions Warranties Apply to Used Vehicles?

     Yes.  It does not matter if you bought your vehicle new or used
from a dealer or anyone else.  As long as the vehicle has not exceeded
the warranty time or mileage limitations, these warranties apply.

     IMPORTANT NOTE: Before buying a used vehicle, be sure that all of
the emission control components as originally installed by the
manufacturer are present and functioning properly.  If emission
control components are missing or have been tampered with, or the
configuration of the exhaust system has been changed, the emissions
warranties on this vehicle may be void.  In addition, if you live in
an area with an I/M program, the vehicle will probably not pass
inspection and you will incur the expense of parts or repairs
necessary for the vehicle to pass.

Can Any Portion of An Emissions Warranty Repair Be Charged to Me?

     If you have valid warranty claim, you cannot be charged for any
costs associated with the diagnosis or repair of the problem,
including labor charges, parts, or miscellaneous items that are
necessary to complete the repair.  For example, if a manufacturer
agrees to replace a catalytic converter under the emissions warranty,
you should not be charged for the diagnosis of the bad converter, or
any pipes, brackets, adjustments, or labor needed to complete the

What Reasons Can the Manufacturer Use to Deny a Warranty Claim?

     If your vehicle is within the age and mileage limits for the
applicable emissions warranty, the manufacturer can only deny coverage
if evidence shows that you have failed to properly maintain and use
your vehicle, causing the part or emission test failure.  Some
examples of misuse and malmaintenance include the following:

    * vehicle abuse such as off-road driving or overloading; or

    * tampering with emission control parts or systems, including
      removal or intentional damage of such parts or systems; or

    * improper maintenance, including failure to follow maintenance
    schedules and instructions specified by manufacturer, or use of
    replacement parts which are not equivalent to the originally
    installed parts.

What Should I Do If My First Attempt to Obtain Warranty Coverage Is

     If your first attempt to receive emissions warranty coverage is
denied, you should do the following:

    1) Ask for a detailed explanation, in writing as to why emissions
    warranty coverage was denied; and

    2) Ask for the name(s) of the person(s) involved in the decision
    to deny coverage, including anyone from the manufacturer's
    regional or zone office; and

    3) Ask for the name(s) of the person(s) with the manufacturer you
    should contact to appeal the denial of coverage under the
    emissions warranty.

    4) Contact and, if necessary, write to the person mentioned above
    requesting coverage and giving the basis for your request.  Repeat
    and continue the appeal process until you are satisfied or have
    exhausted all means of appeal.

What If the Dealer Claims That My Vehicle Can Pass the I/M Test
Without Repair?

     The law does not require that you fail every I/M test in order to
trigger the warranty.  If a valid test shows that you have an emission
problem or there is a defective part, you should get it fixed, while
your vehicle is still within the warranty period.  Otherwise, you
might fail a future test because of the same problem and have to pay
for the repair yourself.  If you doubt your original test results or
the dealer's results or diagnosis, you can always get another opinion
from another dealer or your I/M program.

How Can Maintenance Affect My Emission Warranty Coverage?

     Performance and the cost of scheduled maintenance are your
responsibility.  You may either perform scheduled maintenance yourself
or have a qualified repair facility perform it for you.

     If a part fails as a direct result of your vehicle not being
properly maintained or being used in a manner inconsistent with the
manufacturer's recommendations, or a part fails as a result of the
vehicle being involved in an accident, the manufacturer may not be
required to repair or replace the failed part under warranty.  For
example, failure to replace the spark plugs at the intervals specified
in the maintenance schedule can lead to misfiring and eventual damage
to your catalytic converter - a very expensive part to replace.  If
the maintenance is not performed properly as recommended, the
manufacturer may deny warranty coverage.

     To ensure maximum air pollution reduction from the emission
control system, as well as to ensure continued warranty coverage,
better gas mileage and performance, and longer vehicle life, you
should have all maintenance performed as recommended by the
manufacturer's schedule.  A list of scheduled maintenance for your
vehicle can be found in the owner's manual or warranty booklet.

Do I Have to Show Any Maintenance Receipts Before I Can Make an
Emissions Warranty Claim?

     No. Proof of maintenance is not required in order to obtain
coverage under the emissions warranty if an emission control or
emission related component, or a specified major emission control
component, is found to be defective in materials or workmanship.
However, when it is likely that the lack of proper maintenance has
caused the particular part to fail, you may be asked to show that
scheduled maintenance was performed.

     If you perform scheduled maintenance yourself, you should keep a
detailed log of work performed and any receipts for parts purchased to
perform the maintenance.  In some instances, you may be asked to
qualify your ability to perform such maintenance.  Vehicles should
always be maintained according to manufacturers' specifications.

Are Dealers the Only Persons Allowed to Perform Scheduled Maintenance
Recommended by the Manufacturer?

     No.  Scheduled maintenance may be performed by anyone who has the
knowledge and ability to perform the maintenance and repair.  You may
even maintain the vehicle yourself, as long as the maintenance is
performed according to the manufacturer's instructions provided with
the vehicle.

     For your protection, before taking your vehicle to a repair
facility to have any maintenance performed, check your maintenance
booklet and make a list of the scheduled maintenance to be performed
at that time.  We suggest that you present this list to your auto
technician as opposed to merely asking for a "tune-up" or a "12,000
miles servicing." Your receipt should list all the maintenance
performed and should be kept for your records.

     If you maintain the vehicle yourself, you should keep receipts
for parts and a maintenance log to verify your work.

If I Need Replacement Parts, Must I Use the Vehicle Manufacturer's
Parts Only?

     No.  A manufacturer cannot require the use of any specific brand
of parts in the maintenance of your vehicle.  However, the
manufacturer can require you to use parts that are of equal quality to
the original parts.

If I Buy a Used Vehicle, How Do I Know Whether It Has Been Maintained
According to The Maintenance Schedule?

     The best way to learn whether the vehicle has been maintained
according to its schedule is to ask the seller for receipts proving
that all of the scheduled maintenance was performed. Having the
receipts on hand will provide necessary evidence if the question of
maintenance arises when considering repairs under warranty.  To
prevent any loss of your vehicle's emission performance, you should
continue to follow the maintenance schedule in the owner's manual or
warranty booklet.

     If the seller does not have the owner's manual, warranty booklet
or maintenance schedule, you can obtain them from the manufacturer.

How Will I Know If My Claim Has Been Accepted As Valid?

     After you present your vehicle for a Performance Warranty claim,
the manufacturer has 30 days to either repair the vehicle or notify
you in writing that the claim has been denied.  If you are making a
Performance Warranty claim and your I/M program imposes a shorter
repair deadline, the manufacturer must meet the deadline.  Because of
the significance of these deadlines, you should get written
verification from the dealer showing that they acknowledge the date by
which repairs must be made.

     There are no specific requirements for Defect Warranty claims,
however, manufacturer responses should be made within a reasonable
time period.

What Happens If the Manufacturer Does Not Respond to My Performance
Warranty Claim Within the 30-Day Deadline?

     You may agree to extend the deadline, or it will be automatically
extended if the delay was beyond the control of the manufacturer.
Otherwise, a missed deadline means the manufacturer forfeits the right
to deny the claim.  You may then have the repair performed at a
facility of your choice, at the manufacturer's expense.  (This
requirement only applies to Performance Warranty claims.)

What Do I Do If the Manufacturer Will Not Honor What I Believe to Be a
Valid Emissions Warranty Claim?

     If you believe the manufacturer has not honored a valid claim and
your vehicle has not exceeded the time and mileage limitations, you
should contact an authorized warranty representative and follow the
procedures outlined in your owner's manual or warranty booklet. If the
authorized dealer denies your warranty claim, contact the
manufacturer's regional or zone office for further assistance.  If you
are still not satisfied, follow the appeals procedure outlined in your
manual or warranty booklet.

     Of course, you are entitled to pursue any independent legal
actions you consider appropriate to obtain coverage under the
emissions warranties.  In addition, the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) is authorized to investigate the failure of manufacturers
to comply with the terms of these warranties.  If you have followed
the manufacturer's procedures (including those for appeals) for making
a warranty claim as set out in your owner's manual or warranty
booklet, have received a written denial and you are not satisfied with
the manufacturer's determination, you may submit a letter to EPA at
the following address.  It should provide details of the situation
including the basis for the claim, a copy of the written denial,
copies of your letters to the manufacturers, and copies of any
receipts for emission control parts and repairs you have paid for: 

     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
     Vehicle Programs & Compliance Division (6405J)
     Attn: Warranty Complaints
     401 M Street, SW
     Washington, DC 20460

     Other sources of assistance may be your local or State consumer
protection agency or office of the Attorney General.  You also should
be aware that low-cost or free legal assistance may be available
through a local legal aid office, the State bar association, or a law
school clinic staffed by law students.

In Summary

     If an emission control or emission related part, or a specified
major emission control component is defective, or if your vehicle
fails an I/M test, and your vehicle is within the time and mileage
limitations for emissions warranty coverage:

     * Present a warranty claim to an authorized warranty representative.

If your warranty claim is denied:

     * Ask for the reason for denial, in writing.

     * Follow the appeal procedures in your owner's manual.

If you are not satisfied with the manufacturer's decision:

     * Contact the EPA, which will investigate the denial of a
       valid emissions warranty complaint.

Keep This With Your Vehicle for Future Reference.

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:


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),,

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 ( just like Heather Peters v. Honda Motor Corp ( 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.



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.”


[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.]


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.


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.