Nissan SUVs Under NHTSA Investigation for Transmission Issues
A defect investigation has been launched regarding a transmission problem in model year 2005-2010 Nissan Frontier, Pathfinder and Xterra.
Hundreds of Xterra, Frontier, and Pathfinder owners have reported sudden jerking in their vehicles when travelling at highway speeds. The problem has been diagnosed as a failed transmission cooler which allows coolant to mix with the transmission fluid, causing internal damage to the components. Reports of the issue say that prior to the failure, the occupants noticed nothing amiss with the operation of the vehicle.
Despite hundreds of documented complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nissan still claims that there is no defect. In 2007, the company began to offer an extended warranty good for eight years or 80,000 miles on the transmission and radiator cooler. When the transmission failure occurred however, the company covered the price for the radiator assembly and not the internal damage done to the transmission.
Based on the number of complaints regarding the exact same issue, the result of this investigation will almost undoubtedly be a recall, although it seems Nissan is doing everything in its power to avoid such a circumstance.
The problem is a large number of the cooler failures have occured after the 80,000 mark and some people have been given the run-around as far as the transmission coverage. Nissan never had issues with their radiators like this, but in the mid-2000's, they had problems with the cooler in the Pathfinder/Xterra/Frontiers and the bottom radiator tank in the Titans. Calsonic dropped the ball and made a defective product for Nissan. Nissan should have stepped up a lot earlier and recalled the radiators but chose to put off the issue and deny a problem until the media, social networking sites and consumer groups got involved and then came out with their extended warranty and still pretty much admitted to it being a serious issue. That's bad business practice and not a way to sway a buyer into replacing their $35000+ Pathfinder with another Nissan product in the future. I hope the NHTSA forces Nissan to do what it should have done in the first place!
If Nissan is forced into a recall, often they provide for re-imbursement of repairs made prior to the campaign that would have been covered under the recall had there been one at the time of failure. Hang on or locate your receipts!
Under recall circumstances yes nissan would reimberse you for in a way being a guinnea pig for their repairs. However the frontiers are a bulletin with warranty extention, not a actual recall campaign so nissan isnt obligated to make any repairs prior to the failure. This is why i'll buy a titan if i get a 04+ nissan truck. Currently my work truck is a 02 frontier k/c
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