Nissan Timing Chain Replacements Will Be Reimbursed: Lawsuit

Nissan to settle timing chain lawsuit for Maxima, Quest, Altima, Pathfinder, Xterra and Frontier.

Posted in News

— If you're a Nissan customer and paid for a timing chain replacement or repair, you may be eligible for partial reimbursements or vouchers if the vehicle was purchased or leased in Washington or California.

The class-action lawsuit alleges Nissan designed and sold the vehicles with defective timing chain tensioning systems. Those systems include the primary timing chain tensioners, primary timing chain guides, secondary timing chain tensioners and secondary timing chain tensioner shoes.

Customers who paid for Nissan timing chain replacements or repairs may be eligible for partial reimbursements or vouchers if the vehicles were purchased or leased in Washington or California.

The Nissan timing chain lawsuit includes all former or current owners or lessees who purchased or leased any of the following vehicles in those two states.

  • 2004-2008 Nissan Maxima
  • 2004-2009 Nissan Quest
  • 2004-2006 Nissan Altima (VQ35 engine)
  • 2005-2007 Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2005-2007 Nissan Xterra
  • 2005-2007 Nissan Frontier (VQ40 engine)

Owners complain about spending thousands of dollars for repairs and replacements of the timing chains, systems that connect the camshafts to the crankshafts to control the closing and opening of the engine valves.

The plaintiffs say problems with the timing chain systems can cause acceleration and idling issues because the pistons and valves hit each other.

In addition to repairing and replacing the timing chains, Nissan owners also face problems with engines that completely fail while driving, causing repair bills in the thousands for repairing or replacing both the timing chains and the engines.

The plaintiffs claim they heard all kinds of noise, including buzzing, ticking and whining sounds. Those Nissan owners allege they noticed the sounds while the vehicles were still under warranty but didn't know there were serious problems with the timing chains.

However, all the lead plaintiffs claim they eventually had to endure timing chain replacements or repairs after the warranties expired.

Nissan owners have told about the frustrations of dealing with timing chain problems and the high cost for replacements and repairs, such as these three owners of Nissan Quest minivans:

"this is really getting worse.. just earlier this month I spent $1300 and last month $800 and now they said it will need timing chain fixed which may cost ~$1800."

"I have recently complained to Nissan USA regarding the findings of chain rattle noise and the associated dealer cost to repair of $2000. Timing chain and not to worry about a belt maintenance/replacement was one of the main decisions to buying this car. This is a major job, if not fixed properly could cause the chain to fail leading to motor needing replacement and possible injury. No more Nissan for me!"

"This is by far the worst case of negligence I have witnessed from an automaker! Again NISSAN ignores and covers up a KNOWN problem. The fact that the repair/replacement cannot be performed without removing the engine from the car is appalling. My dealer quoted me $2800 to fix this defect. $2800! $2800! Are you serious? Last NISSAN product I EVER purchase!"

Under the settlement, affected owners and lessees are entitled to partial reimbursement for money spent in connection with the diagnosis of, repair to, or replacement of the primary or secondary timing chain systems or components. Alternatively, those owners and lessees may receive a voucher to be used toward the purchase of a new Nissan vehicle.

Reimbursement percentages are based on the mileage of the vehicle at the time of repair, and a vehicle with more than 120,000 miles at the time of repair is not entitled to reimbursement. In court documents, Nissan argued that 120,000 miles is the full life expectancy of a vehicle.

For vehicles that are made after the powertrain warranty has expired but at fewer than 80,001 miles, Nissan will provide reimbursement of 80 percent of the first $900 of repair costs paid, or a voucher in the amount of $1,500.

For repairs performed on affected vehicles that exceed 80,000 miles but fewer than 100,001 miles at the time of repair, Nissan will provide reimbursement of 50 percent of the first $900 of the repair costs paid, or provide a voucher for $1,000.

And for repairs performed on vehicles that exceed 100,000 miles but do not exceed 120,000 miles, Nissan will reimburse 20 percent of the first $900 of the repair costs, or provide a voucher in the amount of $500.

Customers who incur expenses after the effective date of the settlement are entitled to the benefits as well.

The attorneys who represent owners and lessees will receive $5.2 million in attorney fees and $800,000 for expenses.

Affected customers will be notified by mail.

The Nissan timing chain lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California – Kobe Falco, et. al., v. Nissan North America, Inc., and Nissan Motor Company, LTD.

The plaintiffs are represented by Baron & Budd, P.C., Capstone Law APC, and Strategic Legal Practices.