A proposed class of drivers is requesting approval from a Tennessee federal court for a settlement that would address accusations that Nissan of North America Incorporated sold Rogue and Pathfinder vehicles with faulty gearboxes, a transaction valued at more than 277 million by the drivers.
The drivers, represented by named plaintiff Teresa Stringer, said in a motion for preliminary approval filed Tuesday that the proposal, which also doesn’t cap Nissan’s total contribution, would include an extension of the vehicles’ warranty, cash compensation for previous repairs, and a $1,000 voucher for class members to purchase or lease a new car.
According to the motion, the plaintiffs’ pricing expert, Lee M. Bowron, an actuary who specializes in pricing, valuing extended service contracts and warranty extensions, estimated “conservatively” that the insurance policy extension — which extends the current warranty by two years and 24,000 miles — and repayment are worth $277 million, before attorney fees, vouchers, and ad hoc costs.
Attorneys representing the class intend to seek $6.25 million in legal costs, which the drivers believe is more than reasonable given that it represents less than 2.25 percent of the deal’s estimated worth. Additionally, the drivers will seek a $5,000 service reward for each of the ten plaintiffs.
Stringer’s case began as five separate claims alleging that Nissan Rogue, Nissan Pathfinder, and Infiniti QX60 vehicles equipped with variable frequency gearboxes, or CVTs, are “prone to hesitating, lurching, stopping, jerking, shaking, juddering, as well as prematurely failing.”
Stringer requested conditional certification of two settlement subclasses in Tuesday’s petition, one for operators of 2014-2018 Nissan Rogues and another for users of 2015-2018 Nissan Pathfinders, including 2015-2018 Infiniti QX60 cars afflicted by the claimed fault.
According to the drivers, the reimbursement system essentially makes the service contract extension retroactive. It requires Nissan to fully reimburse affected vehicles for transmission repairs performed during the warranty extension at a licensed dealer and up to $5,000 for repairs performed at unaffiliated repair shops.
Additionally, Nissan would compensate drivers who had the issue detected during the extension period but did not have the repairs completed until after the extension period ended, provided the repairs are completed within 90 days of the settlement notice date or 95,000 miles.
Finally, drivers who need two or more transmission repairs will be eligible to receive a $1,000 voucher toward acquiring a new vehicle.
The case is Stringer et al. v. Nissan of North America Incorporated et al. filed in the US District Court for the Middle Districts of Tennessee with case number 3:21-cv-00099.