February 4, 2012

Information for all car owners

I received this information yesterday from a source (which I may be able to reveal at a later date).  While I cannot verify the accuracy of this information (#1 and #2), trust me, my source is a good one.  Here is information for all car owners (my comments are in brackets):

1. All the dealerships do is try to get you through the warranty period, trying to charge you for what they can, but will replace parts under warranty whether they believe they will fix your car or not to try to get you out the door so you will put more miles on your car so that it gets “out of warranty.”  They are not there to help you, to try and fix your car properly or to aid you.   Some dealerships will go so far as to not give you a repair order so that you don’t have detailed records.

[This definitely applies to my case seeing that none of the fixes ever fixed my car.  Luckily since I work for lawyers myself, I keep very detailed records, it’s a “habit” of mine, and I would advise all car owners to do the same.  Whenever you speak to anyone at a car company (or any business for that matter nowadays whether it be your cell phone company or bank or student loan), whether it be the manufacturer or a dealership, get their full name (ask them to spell it out for you), any type of rep ID or extension #, and all their contact information including phone number, email and fax.

Sometimes the manufacturer will not give out their email as they don’t want to put things in writing and don’t want to make it easy for you to contact them, because they know that creates a legal paper trail. But usually if you can get just one person’s email, then you will know how the company does their emails.  For instance with Nissan, it’s firstname.lastname@nissan-usa.com for all the people in Consumer Affairs.  Now with the Nissan executives, it gets a little tricky  because they switch it up because they don’t want to be contacted.  And with Sage Auto who owns Universal City Nissan and Auto Nation who owns Power Nissan, there is no method to their emails.  With Sage Auto, the Service Manager is firstnamelastinitial@sageauto.com but another service advisor is firstname.lastname@sageauto.com.  With Auto Nation, the Service Manager is lastnamefirstinitial@autonation.com but then the Assistant Service manager is lastnamefirstinitial6@autonation.com (now I believe this means there are 6 people with that name, but it makes it difficult to guess that if you don’t know that).

For the VP in charge of Total Customer Satisfaction, Brad Thacker’s email is: brad.thacker@nissan-usa.com.  However Carlos Ghosen, CEO, is not carlos.ghosen@nissan-usa.com.  I know this because I’ve sent emails to Mr. Ghosen and they have been returned undeliverable and I have sent emails to Mr. Thacker and they have not been returned.  Therefore Mr. Thacker has received my emails and I believe that is legal proof.  I have also emailed other Nissan executives and they too have been returned, and I’ve tried both @nissan-usa.com and nissanusa.com.  Here is Mr. Thacker’s Facebook page by the way: http://www.facebook.com/brad.thacker

In my opinion, any company that does this, that hides contact information from the public in order so they cannot be contacted is shady.  Because if they ran a business on the up and up, there should be no problem with contacting the upper management if you are unhappy with what lower management does for you, and the upper management should be more than happy to talk to you.  Any business should be in the business of servicing its customers.   Nissan of course is not.

Anna Naraeva refused to give me her supervisor’s name saying it’s “internal information” and refused to give me Brad Thacker’s phone number saying again it’s “internal information.”  Why would the VP of Total Customer Satisfaction of Nissan not want to make his phone number available to Nissan Owners?  I am a Nissan owner and I am far from a “totally satisfied customer,” so why won’t Ms. Naraeva allow me to contact Mr. Thacker?  Luckily I’m more intelligent than Ms. Naraeva and found Mr. Thacker’s email through a quick search.  So now this just makes Ms. Naraeva and Nissan’s policies as a whole look bad and makes it seem like their business is shady and that Nissan does not care about their customers.]

2.  Even if your car is currently out of warranty, if you’ve made a request in the past for them to buy it back you may have a case.

[Make sure to make a request for buyback in writing as soon as possible, as soon as you may suspect your car is not fixable.  Do your best to get confirmation of receipt of your request, and then get in writing their answer, demand it, demand it be emailed to you or faxed.]

3. Even if you sell your car, you may still be able to go after the manufacturer for a cash settlement for all your troubles.  On March 2, 2011, precedent in CA was set in the case Martinez v. Kia Motors America, Inc

[From research I just did, Kia tried to appeal and depublish the case, but the court would not allow it, therefore the case is now ” binding legal authority.”]

4. If you have a lemon car, in an effort to get a car company to buyback or settle on your lemon, go park on a public street near the dealership and make some big signs saying your car is a lemon.  You can even print out a handout that lists all the times your car was serviced to give out to potential buyers.  Try to do this on a holiday weekend when they are having a big sale.  The dealership will hate you and may call the police, but the police can’t do anything as long as you are on public property and you are not blocking any entrance to the dealership.  If you do this enough, the dealership may help with the manufacturer in persuading them to offer a settlement, in order to get you to go away.

[Make sure to research your local laws before doing this, as I am not a lawyer and I do not know what protest laws are.  This was simply a suggestion by a source who knows car owners who have done this.  I have not tried this yet.  So it’s very important to know your local laws, possibly even call the nearest police station to the dealership and ask them, and don’t blame me if you get arrested – this is simply advice from a source, use at your own discretion.]

February 3, 2012

Universal City Nissan sends me spam email to lease new car

I find this so humorous seeing that my car is sitting at Universal City Nissan right now and Nissan Corporation is refusing to let Mel Lemus, Service Manager, touch my car after it’s broken down 19 times due to the same/similar electrical idling/shut down problems.

Here is the email I just received:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: amaleki@ucn.dealerspace.com <amaleki@ucn.dealerspace.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 3:17 AM
Subject: Universal City Nissan spring lease loyalty program

Share with your friends Facebook Share

Universal City Nissan is excited to announce the Nissan Spring Lease Loyalty Payment Waiver Program!

Eligible Lessees will receive one or more of the following:

  • Up to $4000 in Lease Bonus Cash on eligible models. ***
  • A waiver of up to four (4) remaining payments due on the eligible NMAC lease. **
  • A waiver of the $395 disposition fee on the eligible leased vehicle. **
  • A waiver of up to $500 in excessive wear and use charges. **

Also any current Nissan Lessee coming off-lease and leasing an eligible model through NMAC is entitled to the incentives detailed below. ***

2011/2012 Nissan Versa Hatch $500
2012 Nissan Sentra $500
2012 Nissan Altima Sedan $1000
2012 Nissan Altima Coupe $500
2011/2012 Nissan Maxima $1000
2012 Nissan 370Z $1000
2012 Nissan Frontier $500
2011/2012 Nissan Titan $4000
2011/2012 Nissan Xterra $3000
2011/2012 Nissan Pathfinder $2500
2011/2012 Nissan Armada $2000
2011/2012 Nissan Juke $500
2011/2012 Nissan Cube $500
2011/2012 Nissan Rogue $1000
2011/2012 Nissan Murano $2000
2011/2012 Nissan Quest $2000

The above Lease Bonus Cash can be combined with the waiver of up to (4) payments.

**Current NMAC lessees (excluding GT-R) with a scheduled maturity date between March 1st, 2012 and June 1st, 2012 will qualify when they purchase or lease a 2011/2012 new Nissan through NMAC.

***Lease Loyalty Cash is only when leasing any 2011/2012 new Nissan with NMAC.

You must contact our Internet/Fleet Department at (866) 612-9413 to set up an appointment and to receive your special pricing and gift.

This offer is for a limited time and is on a first come first served basis so act now!

Andy Maleki
Internet Director

Universal City Nissan | 3550 Cahuenga Blvd. West | Los Angeles | CA | 90068

Disclaimer: #1 refers to the all-time Nissan sales leader in the United States (i.e., Source: 2008 Nissan North America).

Please reply to this message with a subject line of ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’ to stop receiving mass emails. Universal City Nissan 3550 Cahuenga Blvd W Los Angeles, CA 90068

And here is my response:

Date: Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 3:25 AM
Subject: Re: Universal City Nissan spring lease loyalty program
To: amaleki@ucn.dealerspace.com

ARE YOU F’ING KIDDING ME?  I would have thought by now you would have removed me from your email list.  Please unsubscribe.

My Nissan Sentra is sitting at Universal City Nissan right now, broken down for the 19th time due to the same idling/shut down problem and Nissan Corp. is refusing to let Mel Lemus touch my car.

You think I would ever buy a Nissan again after the way Nissan Corp is treating me???????

See all the updates on my website:  http://www.dontbuynissan.com and if you can help me in any way it would be much appreciated.

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 (brad.thacker@nissan-usa.com) sums up why:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Dontbuy Nissan <dontbuynissansentra@gmail.com>
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)” <anna.naraeva@nissan-usa.com>, melvynl@sageauto.com, Louis.Barbee@dca.ca.gov, brad.thacker@nissan-usa.com
Cc: “Baumgartner, Mary” <mary.baumgartner@nissan-usa.com>, “Benedict, Melody (EXTERNAL)” <melody.benedict@nissan-usa.com>, kisha.benedict@nissan-usa.com, “Bolter, John” <BolterJ@autonation.com>, garciam6@autonation.com

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?

February 2, 2012

Heather Peters wins $9,867 in small claims court against Honda!

Just received an email that reports Heather Peters won $9,867 against American Honda Motor Corp. in CA.  Here is the judgment:  http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1109003465307-13/judgment.pdf  (I have not had a chance to review the judgement).

This is good news for Nissan Sentra owners who want to sue Nissan Motor Corp. (Gardena, CA) in small claims court for manufacturer defects on the Sentra, warranty issues, or other repair issues with their Sentras that continue to break down.

February 2, 2012

Thank you for the previous fixes Nissan Corporate

Just got off the phone with Anna Naraeva.  Again she reiterated Nissan Consumer Affairs/Corporate is unwilling to do anymore at this point after my car has broken down for the 19th time, shutting off many times yesterday while idling.  Anna said the arbitration department and those at corporate were upset that I never mentioned on my website all the times Nissan offered their assistance to me.  She either said or implied that is the reason Nissan Corporate is reneging on their offer, as well as Power Nissan, on the free diagnostic that Anna offered to me on January 12, 2012 when Power Nissan was giving my car back after 2 weeks with no fixes because they couldn’t duplicate the idling/shut down problem (note they let the car sit at the dealership for at least a week before anyone drove it to test it).

So I am saying it now: THANK YOU NISSAN CORPORATE for all the times you offered your assistance to me in the past.  I appreciate the 3 Electronic Throttle Bodies, 2 Electronic Control Units, and 4 times (I paid $165 for one of them) that you reset the Idle Air Control Volume.

However, all of these fixes that you offered your assistance to help with did not fix the defect of my car shutting down at idle, which I brought my car in for and paid $916 to Nissan to fix, as well as hundreds to an independent mechanic who is a Nissan Tech Specialist, which I think proves this idling problem is a manufacturer defect.  What is the point of fixing a car if the fix does not remedy the defect?  What is the assistance that you offered worth if after 4 years my car is still experiencing the exact same problem as it did both in 2008 and 2009, when the ECU that you replaced was still under the Federal EPA Emissions warranty of 8 yr/80k miles, and in 2005 with the original owner at 29,000+ miles when the car was still under the manufacturer’s 3 yr/36k mile bumper to bumper warranty?

Therefore I thank you for your previous help, but still request your assistance in buying back my car, as I can no longer deal with having such an unreliable car.

Whomever facilitates the buyback of my car from Nissan, I promise I will write positively about and make the hero of this long drawn out story.  So far, Melvyn Lemus, Service Manager at Universal City Nissan (who I previously mentioned in my Helpful Reps of Nissan post), and Mike Barbee at the Bureau of Automotive Repairs have been very receptive to helping and I truly appreciate all the work they have done so far.  I also want to give a shout out to Mike Garcia at Power Nissan (who I also previously mentioned in my Helpful Reps of Nissan post) for trying to help – I believe initially he really wanted to help and did provide a loaner for two weeks which was absolutely helpful.  Unfortunately, the result of bringing my car into Power Nissan twice is that nothing was accomplished as my car is still shutting off on me at idle.  But I still thank you Mike G., for trying to help.

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.

January 31, 2012

“Nissan is not in a position to repurchase your vehicle”…

Nissan Consumer Affairs responded to me today.  Here it is:

From: Naraeva, Anna (EXTERNAL) <Anna.Naraeva@nissan-usa.com>
Date: Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 7:40 AM
Subject: RE: Please email decision
To: Dontbuy Nissan <dontbuynissansentra@gmail.com>
Cc: “Benedict, Melody (EXTERNAL)” <Melody.Benedict@nissan-usa.com>, “Baumgartner, Mary” <Mary.Baumgartner@nissan-usa.com>

We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to contact Nissan regarding your situation. As a company interested in winning lifelong customers, Nissan apologizes for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

Nissan carefully considered your request during a review of all available facts pertaining to your situation. Unfortunately, Nissan is not in the position to repurchase your vehicle at this time.
Thank you again for contacting us.
Nissan Division

Anna Naraeva
Nissan North America, Inc.
Escalation Team Supervisor, Consumer Affairs
Phone: 615-725-7376
Fax:  615-967-2559


Firstly, there are just no words for the hilarity and irony of the comment “As a company interested in winning lifelong customers, Nissan apologizes for any inconvenience you may have experienced.” Of course, the inconvenience is due to the fact of a design defect in the car due to Nissan’s faulty workmanship and there are even Technical Service Bulletins proving the idling/shut down problem with my car is a known problem.

And wow, I don’t know about you, but I would truly question the financial stability of a company that is “not in the position to repurchase your vehicle at this time.” They are not saying they won’t do it due to making the decision not to, Nissan is saying they are not financially capable of doing so. Just one more reason you:


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: http://www.epa.gov/oms/consumer/warr95fs.txt

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 28, 2012

Contacts section updated with Nissan Consumer Affairs contacts

I wanted to make it easy for others to contact Nissan Consumer Affairs if you are experiencing the same problems over and over again like me. These will stay in the contact tab above, and here they are as well:

Nissan Corporate/Consumer Affairs Contacts:

If you are having problems with your Nissan, below are some contacts I’ve been dealing with over the past 4 years in Consumer Affairs at the Corporate office in TN. If you call in with a problem they should open a file each time, so you want to make sure to get that file number for your records to prove you’ve opened a case with Nissan Corporate. Take very detailed notes of everything they say, because I’ve been lied to numerous times by representatives of Nissan (discussed here: Trust and Accountability) so if your case ever goes to court, or even to put together a detailed file like mine, detailed notes including date and time you spoke to people help create a legal record.

Anna Naraeva
Nissan North America, Inc.
Escalation Team Supervisor, Consumer Affairs
Phone: 615-725-7376
Fax: 615-967-2559

Mary Baumgartner
Senior Manager
Customer Support
Phone: 615-725-7255
Fax: 615-967-2090

Melody Benedict
Consumer Affairs
Phone: 615-725-7514

Consumer Affairs
Phone: 615-725-7668
Fax: 615-267-7940

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.