Nissan Sued Over Allegedly Defective Sunroofs

A New Jersey man has filed a lawsuit against Nissan North America, claiming the vehicle maker’s sunroofs are defective.

nissan-logo-svgHarry Gunsenhouser of Maple Shade, N.J., filed the proposed class-action suit in federal court November 2. His complaint asserts that several models of Nissan vehicles are equipped with panoramic sunroofs that “ … shattered suddenly and without warning.”

More than 60 Nissan drivers have made similar complaints, according to the suit, which includes statements from 17 drivers of various Nissan models.

“Nonetheless, Nissan not only refuses to warn drivers of the danger, but also continues to sell and lease the vehicles without disclosing the defect to consumers,” the complaint reads.

Several models of Nissan vehicles equipped with factory-installed panoramic sunroofs are included in the suit: the 2008-present Rogue, Maxima, Sentra, Pathfinder, and Altima models; 2009-present Murano models; and 2011-present Juke models.

The complaint challenges, among other things, the glass used in the manufacture of Nissan’s sunroofs. “Whereas some manufacturers, such as Volvo and Honda, have used a laminated glass, other manufacturers, such as Nissan, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, and Volkswagen, have opted to install panoramic sunroofs with tempered glass that features large areas of ceramic paint,” according to the complaint.

The suit also alleges Nissan uses a thinner glass, which “ … is even more difficult to temper properly (especially when thicknesses are 4mm or less) as the compressive layers are thinner, allowing greater probability of compromise.”

Several other vehicle manufacturers have been the subject of class-action lawsuits for similar complaints related to panoramic sunroofs, including Ford, Hyundai, Chrysler and Lexus.

Gunsenhouser also accuses Nissan of “deceptive warranty practices,” saying that although Nissan advertises 36-month/36,000-mile limited vehicle coverage and 5-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain coverage, “Nissan has systematically denied coverage with respect to the defective sunroofs.”

The plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount in damages.

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