A California federal judge has certified three classes of Nissan drivers, including a separate Washington state class, within a defect suit over timing-chain tensioning systems that allegedly lead to total engine failure. U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson said a class action is the best way to resolve damages and the related safety issue. The judge signed off on a California and Washington class of drivers consisting of those who have already incurred costs over the defect and another class made of up Nissan owners and lessees in California who have yet to pay for repairs. Judge Pregerson found that the groups had common claims, proof and damages stemming from the timing chain issue that would best be resolved through class-wide litigation. The judge wrote:
The actual proof of common defect, or defendants’ knowledge and subsequent actions, go to the merits of the claim, but common evidence will be used to prove the claim either way. Further, the evidence cited by plaintiffs in their moving papers is sufficient at this stage of the case to make out allegations common among the class as to the alleged vehicle defects, the effects the alleged defects could have on the vehicle in terms of safety, and Nissan’s knowledge of the defect.
The case, filed in 2012 by 2005 Nissan Pathfinder owner Kobe Falco as the named Plaintiff against Nissan and its parent Nissan Motor Co., involved claims that 2004 to 2009 Quests and 2005 to 2007 Pathfinders, Xterras and Frontiers were made with timing chain systems prone to premature failure. Falco also claimed that Nissan was well aware of the alleged defect. It’s contended that even before the vehicles were made, the supplier of the parts had told the automaker the system was prone to breaking down.