Nissan refuses warranty claims for GT-R
Just when you thought that nothing can defeat Godzilla, problems start to arise from within itself. The insanely-capable Nissan GT-R, already on sale in the United States officially, is being undone by transmission failures, according to the American Nissan GT-R Owners Club. A member of the club says his GT-R suffered from odd noises, and took it in for servicing. Nissan USA told him it needs a new automanual gearbox for US$ 20,000, and it won’t be covered under warranty.
The issue arises from the car’s launch control. As stupid as it sounds, if you use it too many times, the car will break. However, asking for 25% of the car’s price to replace a gearbox is insanity at best. Apparently, at least six gearboxes have failed already.
Basically, the car’s computer records how many times the owner turns off the Vehicle Dynamics Control (stability control). The VDC has to be turned off to initiate the “launch control” function, which enables the car to take off in blistering accelerating runs without requiring the skills of a pro drag racer. However, Nissan already warns owners not to use it too many times, in fear of damaging the car. An all-wheel-drive setup puts a lot of strain on a car’s drivetrain during drag runs, as the tyres are barely allowed to squeal. But if Nissan downloads a car’s data and sees that VDC has been turned off too many times, they void the warranty. The American Nissan dealer in this story says they do not not record how many times launch control has been used.
A Porsche 911 Turbo actually has a system that cuts power after a certain number of aggressive launches in a short time, to avoid damage. The GT-R has no such feature, depending on the responsible behaviour of owners instead. Maybe a stronger gearbox would’ve helped too, like the indestructible ones in Corvettes. We can only imagine how much abuse the GT-Rs are taking at the hands of GCC owners. A used GT-R is now definitely out of the question.