LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – A second class action from the law firm Baron & Budd against Nissan over its timing chain tensioning system aims to include a nationwide group of consumers.
Kathy Shaw and Hartwell Steele filed a complaint June 17 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of other members of the public similarly situated against Nissan North America Inc. and Nissan Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha, doing business as Nissan Motor Co. LTD.
“Both plaintiffs in our complaint experienced problems with their timing chain tensioning systems," attorney for the plaintiffs, Roland Tellis of Baron & Budd in Encino, California, told Legal Newsline.
"One of the clients lost total engine power while driving on the freeway.”
He reported both of them had to pay repair costs.
Tellis said this is not the first class-action case against Nissan for defective timing belt systems.
“We filed a related case on behalf of California consumers a couple of years ago, known as Falco et al. v. Nissan. The court granted our motion for class certification on all our claims and we’re hopeful the case will be set for trial soon," he said.
"We then filed the Shaw case on behalf of a nationwide class of consumers."
Tellis said the plaintiffs contend Nissan was well aware of the timing chain defect. He said his clients allege Nissan had regular discussions, internally and with its third-party supplier, about the defect and the need to implement countermeasures.
“Plaintiffs allege that, while Nissan bickered internally over who would pay for the countermeasures, they concealed the defect from consumers and continued to sell the affected vehicles," Tellis said.
"Ultimately, [Nissan] redesigned the defective parts and installed them in the newer vehicles, but, rather than recall the affected cars, Nissan preferred to let warranties expire. In doing so, Nissan managed to secretly and unlawfully transfer the cost of repair to unsuspecting consumers."
The models of vehicles plaintiffs claim are affected include the 2004 to 2008 Maxima, 2004 to 2009 Quest, 2004 to 2006 Altima, 2005 to 2007 Pathfinder, 2005 to 2007 Xterra and 2005 to 2007 Frontier.
The plaintiffs seek compensatory damages, treble damages and a trial by jury.
Nissan told Legal Newsline it does not comment on active litigation and cannot speculate on any future actions.