California Court of Appeal Allows Lawsuit Against Nissan To Move Forward

The California Court of Appeal has ruled that a consumer lawsuit alleging that certain Nissan vehicles have defective engine screws can go forward. Andrus Anderson LLP represents plaintiffs in the proposed class action, who claim that Nissan North America, Inc. concealed a known defect in the engines — that power valve screws can loosen and  detach, resulting in engine failure and/or loss of control of the vehicles.

The lawsuit involves 2001 -2005 Nissan Pathfinders, Altimas and Sentras. Plaintiffs claim that Nissan was aware of the defect by at least 2002. The fix for the vehicles (replacing the engine screws with another type that cannot “back out”) is not expensive, compared to the cost of repairing the vehicles, which can amount to several thousands of dollars.

Internally, Nissan has acknowledged that the screws which secure the engines’ power valve plates are prone to loosen, fall out and be ingested into the engine, causing severe damage to the spark plug, piston and/or cylinder head, and resulting in rough engine running and engine failure. Internal documents further show that Nissan was aware that the screw adhesive deteriorates over time, but Nissan only notified owners of 2004 and 2005 Altimas and Sentras of the problem in an August 2005 Service Campaign Bulletin.

The lawsuit will now proceed to the “discovery” phase, during which the parties will exchange documents, take depositions and develop evidence in the case. The case is a proposed class action, but a class has not yet been certified by the Court. If you have a 2001-2005 Nissan Pathfinder, Altima or Sentra and are interested in learning more about the lawsuit, please contact Andrus Anderson today.