Few topics have set the Autoblog commenting system on fire more than the Nissan GT-R. And once stories began to surface about Godzilla's gearbox grenading when customers invoked the power of launch control, it was like a Hateraid atom bomb had gone off below the fold. Well folks, strap on your riot gear and grab a stick of C4. Nissan's in the news again, officially addressing the GT-R's gearbox failure and rolling out a new software program to mitigate the problem.
Make the jump for all the details.
Related GalleryReview: 2009 Nissan GT-R
Related Gallery2008 Nissan GT-R Details
[Source: InsideLine, StraightLine]
According to the dealer directive (below) and a subsequent report by InsideLine, Nissan has begun implementing a software change on around 50 GT-Rs awaiting dealer delivery, along with "vigorous encouragement" for current owners to bring their vehicles in for reprogramming. The onboard computer modification will supposedly offer "acceleration similar to that with the current launch control," but will do so without disabling the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC). At launch, revs will be reduced from 4,500 rpm to somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 rpm and the clutch engagement has been reprogrammed to limit driveline stress. And this isn't just for Stateside GT-Rs. All the vehicles sold from here on out, no matter the country, will use the revised programming.
Nissan North America's chief of product public relations, Scott Vazin, told IL that the situation, "...has been blown way out of proportion." And according to Nissan, less than 1% of the vehicles – between 16 and 19 cars out of the 1,750-1,800 GT-Rs delivered to customers in the U.S. – have been affected. Furthermore, Nissan is sticking to its guns about disabling VDC, making it clear that the only time the system should be turned off is when the vehicle is stuck in the mud or snow. To make sure that point is driven home, a revised customer disclosure form will be required for all new GT-R sales from this point forward.
The dealer bulletin is below and... well... you know what to do in the comments.
Nissan has enhanced the Model Year (MY) 2009 GT-R by incorporating new MY 2010 programming that will optimize clutch engagement control for improved drivability. This upgrade also improves vehicle acceleration with the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) ON/activated.
Nissan will provide this MY 2010 specification upgrade to MY 2009 GT-R owners at no additional cost. Nissan has already incorporated this programming into the GT-R vehicles in its U.S. inventory and will resume shipping of those vehicles to dealers. We will advise you soon on how to install this new program into all MY 2009 GT-Rs (see below).
The GT-R will continue to offer supercar characteristics of exceptional handling, maneuvering and overall driving experience. This upgrade provides the consumer improved drivability and enhanced acceleration performance with VDC ON (as required by the warranty). Standing acceleration capability with VDC ON (VDC-R mode) will improve compared to the original model year 2009 performance while such acceleration with VDC OFF will be moderated. Customers should be reminded to drive safely and obey all traffic laws. [Please note independent media reports of 0-60 drive times with VDC OFF (or what the media call "Launch Control") on closed courses with professional drivers will likely increase after this change.]
The GT-R Owner's Manual expressly warns against driving with the VDC OFF (except to free the vehicle when stuck in mud or snow) to avoid damage. Repeated acceleration launches with VDC OFF have resulted in some reported instances of damage to the transaxle. Repairs for damage caused by driving with VDC OFF are expressly excluded under the terms of the Nissan GT-R New Car Limited Warranty. Except when stuck, there is no reason to drive with VDC OFF.
This change was initially implemented with the start of MY 2010 GT-R production and has been completed for all 2009 GT-Rs still in NNA inventory... In a few weeks, you will receive the Technical Service Bulletin explaining how to implement this specification change for all remaining 2009 GT-Rs...
Attached is a REVISED Customer Disclosure Form With Modification Notice, which must be used with all customers who buy or take delivery of a MY 2009 GT-R.