Top 8 Things To Know
About Nissan CVT
Transmission Problems

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Nissan has equipped several vehicle models with the continuously variable transmissions, or CVTs. The Nissan CVT transmission was intended to provide the benefits of both the automatic and manual transmission: better fuel economy, easy driving on hills and a smoother driving experience.

However, recurring safety problems prompted consumer complaints and several class action lawsuits, only some of which have reached settlement. These lawsuits allege that Nissan offered “piecemeal” warranty extensions to older models but refused to admit that its CVT transmission is defective. Despite pushback, Nissan continues to equip many vehicles with these faulty transmissions.

If your Nissan vehicle experiences recurring issues with its transmission, you may have a lemon. Many affected drivers may be included in one or more class action lawsuits. Once these lawsuits settle, affected drivers may only get meager cuts of the final settlement.

Complete our consultation form to find out how to opt out of one or more lawsuits. Opting out of these lawsuits is the only way to retain your individual right to sue. By pursuing an individual lemon law claim, you may get a greater settlement as a result.

1. Which Vehicles Experience The Nissan CVT Transmission Problems?

The following vehicles are equipped with Nissan’s faulty CVT transmission:

  • 2018–2019 Nissan Sentra
  • 2017–2021 Nissan Altima
  • 2016–2021 Nissan Maxima
  • 2015–2021 Nissan Murano 
  • 2019–2021 Nissan Pathfinder 
  • 2015–2017 Nissan Quest
  • 2019–2021 Nissan Rogue 
  • 2018–2019 Nissan Versa

Some vehicles with CVT transmissions are included in currently active class action lawsuits against Nissan. However, other models may be equipped with Nissan’s CVT. If you’re not sure which transmission you have, there are ways to check. Nissan models that are not currently represented in class action lawsuits may still face recurring transmission problems. You may need to opt out of one or more class action lawsuits before established deadlines in order to pursue an individual claim for your faulty transmission.

These vehicle models of previous model years were subject to several class action lawsuits and their subsequent settlements. As a result, many consumers received extended warranties for their Nissan CVT transmissions. Despite these settlements and related payouts, new lawsuits came forward in light of ongoing Nissan CVT transmission problems.

At the crux of these Nissan CVT transmission lawsuits is a discrepancy between the CVT transmission’s expected functionality and its actual performance. Though the Nissan CVT was promised to provide better fuel economy and smooth shifting, these class action lawsuits allege that the vehicles have unpredictable acceleration problems that could increase the risk of collisions and injuries.

Nissan CVT Issues: Next Steps

2. What’s Wrong With Nissan’s CVT Transmission?

Compared to conventional transmissions, continuously variable transmissions are reportedly prone to overheating, don’t last as long, and are harder to repair. Recurring Nissan transmission problems are no secret; Nissan allegedly knew of the problems plaguing CVT transmissions since 2009. Despite the prevalence of these problems, Nissan continued to equip its vehicles with these potentially defective transmissions.

Owners and lessees of these vehicles report similar Nissan CVT issues. Recurring problems with Nissan’s transmissions include:

  1. Lurching and Jerking
  2. Shaking and Shuddering
  3. Vehicle Hesitation or Stalling
  4. Burning Smells 
  5. Transmission Overheating
  6. Delayed Acceleration
  7. Engine Revving
  8. Strange Shifting Noises
  9. Premature Transmission Failure

Complaints submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal serious safety problems posed by these faulty transmissions. One Nissan vehicle owner reported that transmission problems made his vehicle roll backward, despite being in Park and on flat land. One consumer reported that their Nissan vehicle has had three continuously variable transmissions within one year, and yet has lost power in highways and busy intersections. 

When power or acceleration problems occur in environments like stops, freeway ramps, intersections and highways, drivers face an increased risk of being rear-ended or causing a crash.

Nissan CVT Issues: Next Steps

3. How Has Nissan Responded To These CVT Transmission Problems?

According to one class action lawsuit, Nissan knew about these CVT transmission problems since at least 2009 and has allegedly hidden knowledge of the CVT problems to avoid paying for its mistakes.

In 2009, Nissan issued an extended warranty on vehicles with CVT transmissions. Typically, Nissan’s warranties on powertrains – which include transmissions – last for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. The new, extended warranties last for 10 years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, the lawsuit alleges that Nissan still failed to come clean regarding the transmission defects.

As part of the settlements on previous class action lawsuits, Nissan offered a New Vehicle Limited Warranty that extended coverage from 60 months or 60,000 miles to 84 months or 84,000 miles.

Additionally, Nissan allegedly denies the existence of CVT problems until after the warranties expire. Many consumers who experienced these problems had active warranties on their Nissan vehicles and were made to pay for transmission repairs out of pocket anyway.

Nissan CVT Issues: Next Steps

4. How Do I Know If My Nissan Vehicle Is Defective?

Your Nissan vehicle may be a lemon if it shows any of the following symptoms:

  • Acceleration Problems
  • Shaking and Shuddering
  • Transmission Slips or Jerks
  • Vehicle Stalling
  • Burning Smells and Overheating
  • Revving or Strange Shifting Noises
  • Coolant/Fluid Leaks

Problems in your Nissan CVT can negatively affect your vehicle’s use, value or safety. If Nissan or an authorized repair shop cannot fix your vehicle within a reasonable number of attempts, your vehicle may be a lemon.

The number of repair attempts considered “reasonable” can differ on a case-by-case basis. Consult a California lemon law attorney about your situation and legal rights.

Nissan CVT Issues: Next Steps

5. How Does A Continuously Variable Transmission Work?

A continuously variable transmission (CVT) does not rely on a stick shift commonly associated with manual transmissions. It also does not function wholly like an automatic transmission.

A visual representation of the Nissan CVT and its pulley system. With this transmission, the steel belt connects the pulleys. The adjusting pulleys change when the driver changes gears. While in high gear, the driven pulley increases in radius and the driver pulley decreases in radius. While in low gear, the opposite happens.

Instead, it uses a system of pulleys and a flexible belt. This belt, made of metal links, connects a pair of adjustable pulleys. When the driver tries to accelerate, decelerate or otherwise navigate changes in driving environments, this system continuously adjusts the gear ratio of the transmission. The belt-and-pulley system allows the transmission to adjust without the driver needing to switch or “shift” gears.

As the driven pulley increases in radius, the driver pulley decreases in radius, and vice versa. In theory, the CVT transmission has an infinite number of “gears” in which the vehicle could drive at any speed.

Nissan CVT Issues: Next Steps

6. How Do I Know If I Have A CVT Transmission?

If you are unsure of which transmission your vehicle has, there are multiple ways to check.

You can find your transmission type in your owner’s manual in the glove compartment. If you have lost your owner’s manual, you may find your transmission type on the sticker on the inner frame of your driver’s side door.

You can also write down your vehicle identification number (VIN) and call your local dealership. Once you provide your VIN, the dealership should be able to search this information for you.

7. How Do I Opt Out Of A Class Action Lawsuit?

If you are included in a class action lawsuit, you may receive a notice in the mail. This notice should describe the allegations that consumers have made against Nissan. These notices usually contain instructions for opting out of a class action lawsuit. However, you should consult an attorney on the specifics, including how much time you have to opt out.

Once you opt out, you may pursue charges more specific to your situation. Contact a California lemon law attorney about your individual right to pursue a lemon law claim.

Opt out of one or more class action lawsuits.

8. How Can A California Lemon Law Attorney Help Me?

If your Nissan is experiencing recurring problems with its CVT transmission, your vehicle may be a lemon. Our California lemon law firm can help you obtain the reward you deserve for your faulty Nissan vehicle.

If you are included in one or more class action lawsuits, we can help you opt out. If you opt out before the specified deadline, you retain your right to pursue an individual lemon law claim. If you are not sure whether you are included in a class action lawsuit, we can help you find out.

Opt out of your class action lawsuit to retain your individual right to sue. Under the California Lemon Law, you will be eligible to receive cash compensation, a replacement vehicle or a lemon law buyback.

If you want to opt out of one or more class action lawsuits and pursue an individual case, fill out the form below or call us at 877-222-2222 for a free consultation. You have rights! Take action now!

Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation.

However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states. To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our California Lemon Law Guide for more information.