2013 Nissan Sentra CVT Transmission Failure

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raveon
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:32 pm

2013 Nissan Sentra CVT Transmission Failure

Post by raveon »

My spouse's car is a 2013 Nissan Sentra with 63K miles. Original owner. Primarily used for home -> work. I have taken this car to the dealership at regular interval as per service manual. At 60K miles, the dealership performed a CVT transmission fluid exchange (in Dec 2021). This past weekend, we observed an issue where the RPM was revving to 4-5K, but speed was stuck at 20 mph. I took it to the dealer today for root causing and after diagnosing they found that the CVT transmission has failed. There is a lot of metal shavings/debris stuck on the magnets (see pic). They gave me a quote of $7300 to replace the entire CVT transmission assembly, which I think is very high.

1. If the CVT was OK, KBB trade-in value would be $4.1K and private party would be $6.1K. Dealer offered $1K trade-in in its current state, but let's forget that for now.

Here is my dilemma.

1. I had an initial conversation with the service manager, and he said he cannot do anything about it because the car is out of warranty (5 year/60K). I understand that. However, 2013 Nissan Sentra CVT is known to suffer from early failure and some litigation has occurred (http://www.sentraversacvtsettlement.com/) and a settlement is pending. Nissan had extended the warranty another 3 years or 24K. Unfortunately, I'm past the date (I purchased the car in 2013), but with respect to miles, it is significantly less than 84K (60K + 24K). He told me to talk with Nissan Consumer Affairs to see if they can either authorize a full replacement or do a cost sharing and he will support me as I have been a loyal customer for 13 years purchasing all my vehicles there and getting them serviced regularly. He did acknowledge that the 2013 Sentra are known to suffer from CVT transmission failure at fairly low mileage.

2. I also asked him why this debris was not observed in Dec 2021 when the CVT fluid exchange was done. He mentioned that they don't open the CVT pan and inspect when doing a fluid exchange (they use some pipes to exchange the liquid). Since I am not a mechanic, I can't attest to the accuracy of this. From the YouTube videos that I've seen on fluid changes, mos of them seem to be cleaning the magnets in the CVT pan. But given my past history with the dealer, they have never tried to upsell, and I find them to be honest. So I will take their word for it.

3. I called Nissan Consumer Affairs to file a complaint. Some lady sitting in a call center on the other side of the world gave me standard lines about how it is out of warranty, yada yada yada as an excuse to not provide any assistance. She asked me to talk to the dealer and resolve it. I kept insisting that in terms of mileage the car is way less than 84K but she was just reading from a manuscript. After getting fed up, I requested that it be escalated to her supervisor. So I'm expecting a call with the supervisor tomorrow to see how they can help. I will continue to apply pressure. I think 60K is way too early a transmission failure and given that a potential legal settlement is in place that shows that this is not an isolated problem in 2013 Sentras, I feel Nissan/dealer should help me come up with a potential resolution. Let's see where these goes.

4. If I can't find a good resolution, I am not sure if sinking 7.3K in repair is a good idea. Looking at the settlement website, I see this:
WARRANTY EXTENSION

The Settlement provides an extension of the Nissan New Vehicle Limited Warranty on your Class Vehicle’s transmission from 60 months / 60,000 miles to 84 months / 84,000 miles (whichever occurs first) (the “Warranty Extension”).

REIMBURSEMENT PAYMENTS

NNA will reimburse Class Members 100% of the amount they actually paid for parts and labor to an authorized Nissan dealer (or up to $4,750 paid to a non-NNA repair facility) for:

Qualifying transmission repairs made to their Class Vehicle, if the work was done within the time and mileage limits of the Warranty Extension.
Qualifying transmission repairs made prior to their Class Vehicle’s odometer exceeding 90,000 or January 30, 2020, whichever occurs first, if they submit appropriate documentation establishing that a Nissan dealer diagnosed and recommended a qualifying transmission repair within the time and mileage limits of the Warranty Extension.

To receive a reimbursement payment, you must complete and submit a claim form on or before January 30, 2020, along with appropriate documentation of the repairs for which you are seeking reimbursement.
Obviously the date is way past, but then in FAQ #7, I see this:
What if my car is more than 84 months old or has more than 84,000 miles on it?

If you paid out of pocket for parts and labor for replacement of or repair to the transmission assembly or ATCU by a Nissan dealer or other non-Nissan automotive repair facility prior to your vehicle being in service for eighty-four (84) months or eighty-four thousand (84,000) miles, you may submit a claim for reimbursement. See FAQ 11 for information on how to submit a claim.
Note the 'OR' condition. I'm a bit confused, if I would be eligible or not.


I have the following questions:

1. For any car mechanics on this forum, what would be the typical cost to replace a CVT transmission on a 2013 Nissan Sentra in Northern California region? How can I be sure that the transmission they put it would not have the same problem (i.e, factor reconditioned or brand new w/ fix)?

2. Any suggestions on strategies to push Nissan USA to come to an equitable resolution?

3. I also intend to ask the service manager if he can lower the replacement cost significantly (i.e., no markup/profit) given my 13 years of relationship with them.

4. If I can't get this resolved, I will buy a non CVT transmission and some other brand (and write to the BBB and send a letter to the local newspaper/tv station describing my story just in case they want to follow up and give some negative publicity to the dealer/Nissan USA)

Thanks for any additional ideas.


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finite_difference
Posts: 3331
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: 2013 Nissan Sentra CVT Transmission Failure

Post by finite_difference »

As a loyal Nissan customer, if they don’t resolve it for you, find another dealer and never buy a Nissan again. Loyalty works both ways.

Nissan has a terrible history of CVT failures. I wouldn’t buy one.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
bikesandbeers
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:08 am

Re: 2013 Nissan Sentra CVT Transmission Failure

Post by bikesandbeers »

Nissan USA doesn’t care about the bad publicity given this issue is widespread and well known (hence the settlement).
When I had a Nissan Leaf, the back of the dealership shop was literally stacked floor to ceiling with bad CVTs.

Given the recent transmission service I think the dealer should be more helpful in getting Nissan support, but you are clearly outside the terms of the settlement.

I don’t know the availability of repaired/new transmissions for independent shops, but I could guess they labor would probably be at least $1600-$2000plus the cost of the part. Probably barely worth the repair, but if you like the car otherwise you could consider it, given the low miles.


If you really drive so few miles, I would ask for a strait trade with a 2013 Nissan Leaf. They have limited range, but not transmissions to worry about!
John Doe 123
Posts: 180
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:48 am

Re: 2013 Nissan Sentra CVT Transmission Failure

Post by John Doe 123 »

In the midwest this is a 4-5k repair. Out west 7k may be realistic, I am not sure.

Nissan actually recommends servicing the CVT fluid every 30k miles here due to harsh climate.

In any event, the repair is not worth it if you have to pay out of pocket in my opinion.

As you are probably aware, the JATCO CVT transmissions used in Nissan vehicles are known to be problematic. Nissan owns JATCO and continues to put them in their cars because people still buy them.

My advice would be to push for some relief from Nissan on the repair, but I would not expect you will be successful on that front.

If you can not get Nissan to cover the repair then look for a new vehicle that is produced by a company not named Nissan.
Galt guy
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:48 pm

Re: 2013 Nissan Sentra CVT Transmission Failure

Post by Galt guy »

John Doe 123 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 12:02 am In the midwest this is a 4-5k repair. Out west 7k may be realistic, I am not sure.

Nissan actually recommends servicing the CVT fluid every 30k miles here due to harsh climate.

In any event, the repair is not worth it if you have to pay out of pocket in my opinion.

As you are probably aware, the JATCO CVT transmissions used in Nissan vehicles are known to be problematic. Nissan owns JATCO and continues to put them in their cars because people still buy them.

My advice would be to push for some relief from Nissan on the repair, but I would not expect you will be successful on that front.

If you can not get Nissan to cover the repair then look for a new vehicle that is produced by a company not named Nissan.
100% agree with this.
Big Dog
Posts: 3711
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: 2013 Nissan Sentra CVT Transmission Failure

Post by Big Dog »

Before searching for a replacement car, I'd check around for independent tranny shops to see if you can get the work done for say, $3k.
adestefan
Posts: 553
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:22 pm

Re: 2013 Nissan Sentra CVT Transmission Failure

Post by adestefan »

Don’t do 4. The dealer did nothing wrong. It’s very rare to open up a CVT transmission unless something is wrong. There are too many chance to get small amounts of debris into the system and cause move damages then your fix.


You got 10 years on a known bad transmission. Be happy and go on your merry way.
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