Serial Nissan owner Sean Goodwin had no qualms about buying a year-old Navara pick-up from Ames Nissan in Norfolk, and took delivery of his 2.5-litre DCi Double Cab in Tekna trim with 15,000 miles on the clock in April 2011.
However, things didn’t get off to the best of starts. The day after collecting the car he was worried to see the low oil indicator come on. He called Ames Nissan and the dealership quickly rectified the problem. Sean and his Navara were back on track.
At 30,000 miles, though, Sean had difficulty getting the Navara to start. Then the ECU fault light came on. Sean rushed the car to his nearest Nissan dealer, Bristol Street Motors, Nissan Derby. Its technicians diagnosed a serious problem: the engine would need to be rebuilt. Thankfully, the car was still under warranty.
All went well for the next 24,000 miles, at which point the Navara started to play up again. This time it needed a new driveshaft. A further 16,000 miles on, the turbo failed. Another fix was made, but after just 6000 miles more, Sean was back at the dealer. This time the ECU light had come on, accompanied by a loud banging noise. Nissan Derby found the engine to be beyond repair.
By this time the car was 16,000 miles out of its warranty period, so Sean called Nissan customer services. Nissan offered to pay 20% of a new £10,000 engine, which still left Sean facing an £8000 bill in parts alone for a car that would be worth just £6000 when it had been fixed. It looked like the Navara was a write-off. In desperation, Sean contacted Helpdesk and we appealed to Nissan UK to better its offer.
After all, the pick-up’s engine had been rebuilt in October 2011 at just 30,000 miles, and that repair had lasted only 18 months.
Nissan UK said it would try to source a reconstructed engine that would be cheaper for Sean – not an ideal solution, so we asked if there was anything more that could be done. Then Sean received a call from Nissan Derby. After an in-depth investigation, Nissan UK was offering to fund the full cost of a new engine.
The investigation showed that the Navara’s problems could have been caused by a gearbox fault, which would have occurred before the warranty expired. A Nissan spokesman told Helpdesk that the car maker wanted to offer as much help as possible because the Navara is normally extremely reliable, and Sean’s car had suffered such a catastrophic mechanical failure after only 76,000 miles in total.
As a result, Nissan UK fitted a new engine without Sean having to spend any money.
What if this happens to you?
- Keep a dated log of every problem that occurs, and as soon as a warning light comes on, inform your dealer. Don’t delay before acting.
- Even if your car is out of warranty it’s worth asking for help, particularly if you believe a fault developed, but wasn’t picked up or fixed, during the warranty period.
- Remember, if you can prove your loyalty to the brand and highlight this, it could work in your favour.
We've prepared lots of useful advice, including a full guide on warranties that could help you with either a new or used car.
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