APA’s class action over trouble-prone Nissan CVT transmissions is certified in Quebec

Recalls, Warranties, & Class Actions

On May 4, the Quebec Superior Court authorised a class action against Nissan Canada over defective CVT automatic transmissions. The decision includes a larger number of models than all the similar actions filed against Nissan in Canada and the United States — almost every Nissan with a CVT transmission sold from spring 2010 to 2017, as well as some 2018 and 2019 models. The APA has received over 750 complaints for CVT transmission failures, just from Quebec residents; the average cost to replace a broken transmission is about $4,000. A transmission expert retained by the APA reviewed Nissan’s U.S. technical service bulletins and identified recurring problems with CVT transmissions and various largely unsuccessful software and hardware patches covering model years 2013 all the way up to 2019.

The APA wants Nissan to extend it transmission warranty to 10 years or 200,000 km, the same as it did for early CVT models back in 2010. Nissan told the Court that extending the warranty with a time and mileage limitation was beyond the authority of a judge; the judge disagreed.

Nissan argued that the APA’s claim for punitive damages of $300 per vehicle owner or lessee who experienced a transmission failure should be dismissed. The APA believes that punitive damages are appropriate in this situation because:

  • Nissan knew about the defects in its transmissions for years;
  • Nissan did not help its customers despite requests from the APA and car owners;
  • Nissan is aware that its obligations regarding the implied legal warranties of quality and durability in Quebec exceed the factory warranty;
  • Nissan extended its warranty in the United States as a result of lawsuits against its US subsidiary, but, other than for the 2014-2015 Pathfinder, it has refused to do so for Canadian and Quebec consumers;
  • The warranty on the Pathfinder was extended from 60 months / 100,000 km to 84 months / 135,000 km, which is clearly insufficient given that a transmission should function properly for much longer.

The judge determined that if proven, the facts alleged by the APA could convince a court to decide that punitive damages were appropriate.

There are two other class actions pending against Nissan in Canada’s common law provinces (the nine provinces outside Quebec) covering subsets of the models in the APA’s action. Visit Merchant Law for details.

If your Nissan experienced a CVT transmission failure, please complete the survey form.

If you’re having a problem with the CVT transmission on your Nissan, APA expert Alain Groulx is available to help members navigate the process.

The Court’s complete decision rendered by the Hon. Judge Martin F. Sheehan is available to download here [PDF].

List of models included in the APA’s class action

  • 2010-2018 Altima
  • 2010-2013 Cube
  • 2011-2017 Juke
  • 2010-2019 Maxima
  • 2010-2019 Murano
  • 2013-2017 NV 200
  • 2013-2019 Pathfinder
  • 2017 Qashqai
  • 2011-2014 Quest
  • 2010-2018 Rogue
  • 2010-2019 Sentra
  • 2010-2019 Versa & Versa Note

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