By Andrea Plata
A class action lawsuit has been brought against Nissan for faulty hood latches on their vehicles. Consumers are claiming that the company’s recall has not fixed the problem.
What Is an Automobile Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit brought by a group of plaintiffs who have suffered similar damages or injuries. Automobile class action lawsuits are typically brought when a group of plaintiffs is claiming that a specific auto part has either design or manufacturing defects. The term defect is used to describe a condition of a consumer product that does not meet a consumer’s reasonable expectation.
Nissan Hood Latch Recalls
There have been four recalls for hood latch defects on Nissan vehicles. The allegations in the lawsuit explain that the Nissan hood design has an exterior and interior latch system but due to certain defects the vehicle’s hood will come unlatched while driving. The allegations state that this issue is present no matter how fast the driver is going and that the hood will come unlatched at any speed. Nissan Ultima owners began complaining about these issues in 2013 and Nissan was investigating the alleged defect as early as 2014.
Reports allege that Nissan placed the blame on the latch defect on the drivers, service technicians, and various suppliers and issued recalls in the following years,
Nissan Altima 2014 Hood Latch Recall
The company issued a recall in 2014 for the model year 2013 Nissan Altima stating that debris between the hood and inner panel could cause the interior latch to remain open. The recall required dealerships to inspect, clean, and lubricate the interior latch. If an inspection found that the interior latch did not move freely and was defective, the dealerships were instructed to bend the latch with a crowbar to remedy the issue.
Nissan Altima 2015 Hood Latch Recall
In 2015, the company issued yet another recall for model year 2013-2015 cars, but this time claiming that the anti-corrosion hood latch protection applied by a supplier was faulty and was the reason for the defective hood latch. Nissan explained that flaking paint was to blame as it left the bare metal exposed and increased the risk of corrosion.
The fix for the 2015 recall involved dealers applying a rust treatment if a car was found to have a faulty hood latch.
Nissan Altima 2016 Hood Latch Recall
The next year in 2016, a subsequent recall was issued for the model year 2013-2015 cars. Again, the company cited a delinquent supplier for the car’s hood latch issue. Dealers were told to replace the hood latch assembly on cars with faulty hood latches.
Nissan Altima 2020 Hood Latch Recall
Last year Nissan issued their fourth recall for the model year 2013-2018 Altima cars. Nissan reported that they were aware of at least 16 minor crashes and injuries that were caused by faulty hood latches. When announcing the 2020 recall, Nissan stated that their remedy plan for the issue was “under development”.
Class Action Claims
The class action suit brought against Nissan claims that the company has been aware of the defect since 2013 and although they cite various reasons for the faulty hood latch, they have been unable to offer consumers an adequate remedy. The consumer’s complaint alleges that the company could have employed a new hood latch design in their vehicles over the past eight years but has neglected to change the design and has done so at the expense of its customer’s safety.
Consumers are alleging that Nissan’s design of their hood latch system is not up to industry standards as it is not strong enough to perform under real-world conditions, claiming that the hood latch fails at even minor speeds. The lawsuit also claims that the hood latches inside the vehicle are located too close to the fuel door latches and this causes drivers to accidentally unlatch the hoods instead of the fuel doors, creating a dangerous and unsafe condition for drivers.
The Nissan Altima hood latch class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division: Miller, et al., v. Nissan North America, Inc.