Carsumer Advocacy? Nissan refuses to replace GT-R owner's busted transmission

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A member of the North American GT-R Owner's Club forums started a thread recently in which he tells about dropping off his Nissan GT-R at the dealership when he began hearing loud noises coming from the rear of the car. The dealership told him that his transmission was toast as a direct result of him turning off the car's VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) too much, which you have to do in order to use the Launch Control function. The cost to repair the tranny is $20,000 and Nissan won't cover it under warranty since the GT-R owner's manual states that damage to the transmission is not covered if it is proven to be the result of using Launch Control with the VDC turned off. In fact, the manual states that the only reason you should turn off VDC is for when you're rocking the vehicle because it's stuck in mud or snow. That's kind of like Nissan saying you should never use the Launch Control function despite the fact it's there.

The situation clearly sucks for this GT-R owner, and we can certainly understand his frustration. Nissan, however, has itself covered in that the owner's manual makes it clear that any damage to the transmission resulting from using Launch Control is not covered, and we're told GT-R owners actually have to sign something when picking up the car to show they understand this policy. And to be clear, just switching off VDC will not void the warranty, and many owners have used Launch Control with no damage to the transmission whatsoever.

We think there's something a little fishy going on with both parties in this conflict. For one, no one knows for sure exactly how many times this GT-R owner used Launch Control. Doing it once in a while to show off is one thing, but abusing any car with that much power will eventually lead to something failing, and in those cases the automaker shouldn't necessarily be held responsible for the repairs.

That said, we're also not exactly sure how delicate these GT-R transmissions are. If Nissan had any idea that its Launch Control function could damage the car, it should have built a system that could protect itself. Take the new Porsche 911 and its PDK dual-clutch transmission that also has Launch Control. The new Porsche will let you rip off about a dozen runs in a row before a dashboard light illuminates and the ECU limits engine power until everything cools off. Why can't the GT-R watch out for itself like that?

Click the source below and decide for yourself who is right and who is wrong in this situation.


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