Christopher Gann, et al. v. Nissan North America, Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is this lawsuit about?
  2. Why is the lawsuit a class action?
  3. Why is there a Settlement?
  4. What is the Effective Date of this Settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
  6. What are the benefits of this Settlement?
  7. What if my car is more than 84 months old or has more than 84,000 miles on it?
  8. What if I have not repaired my car, but a Nissan dealer has diagnosed and recommended a replacement of or repair to the transmission?
  9. Am I giving anything up in return for my benefit?
  10. What if I have a claim related to my transmission or the Extended Warranty in the future?
  11. What do I need to do to get the benefits of this Settlement?
  12. Can I get out of the Settlement?
  13. How can I exclude myself from the Settlement?
  14. Can I tell the court I do not like the Settlement?
  15. How can I object to the Settlement?
  16. What is the difference between excluding and objecting? Can I do both?
  17. Can I appear at the Settlement hearing?
  18. Do I need to hire my own attorney?
  19. How much is Class Counsel being paid?
  20. When will the Settlement become final?
  21. What happens if the Settlement is not approved?
  22. What if I do not do anything?
  23. Where can I get more information?
  24. I do not have a Claim Number. Can I still submit a Claim?
  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    In this lawsuit called Christopher Gann, et al. v. Nissan North America, Inc., Case No. 3:18-cv-00966, pending in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, a number of individuals on behalf of themselves and all current and former owners and lessees of 2013-2016 model year Nissan Altima vehicles ("Class Vehicles"), allege that the Class Vehicles have a defective continuously variable transmission ("CVT") which can lead to poor transmission performance or failure. The Plaintiffs brought claims against Nissan North America, Inc. ("Nissan or NNA") for breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment and violation of various State consumer protection statutes. They also sought various injunctive remedies and damages. The people who sued are called the Plaintiffs. The company they sued, Nissan, is called the Defendant.

    Nissan has denied and continues to deny all of Plaintiffs’ claims related to the CVT in their vehicles, denies all allegations of wrongdoing, fault, liability or damage of any kind to Plaintiffs or the Settlement Class, denies that it acted improperly or wrongfully in any way, and believes that this litigation is without merit.

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  2. Why is the lawsuit a class action?

    In a "class action lawsuit," one or more people called "Class Representatives" sue on behalf of people who allegedly have similar claims. The people together are a "Class" or "Class Members." The Court preliminarily has decided that this lawsuit can be a class action for settlement purposes. However, final certification of the Settlement Class will depend on the Court granting final approval of the Settlement. This means that, if the Settlement does not receive final approval by the Court, then Class Members will not get benefits under this Settlement, and Plaintiffs will need to go back to Court to seek to certify a class and prove their case through trial even if a class is certified.

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  3. Why is there a Settlement?

    Plaintiffs believe that their case is meritorious, yet they have agreed to this Settlement because, if it is approved, it provides benefits to the Class while avoiding risks associated with further litigation and trial.

    Nissan believes the lawsuit has no merit, but nevertheless is willing to enter into this Settlement as a further commitment to its customers, to provide extra peace of mind to its customers, and to end further litigation, which could be protracted, burdensome and expensive.

    The Court has not decided who is right or wrong in this lawsuit. This proposed Settlement is not, and should not be considered as, evidence of Nissan’s admission or concession of any fault, wrongdoing or liability whatsoever, nor a concession by Plaintiffs that their suit was meritless.

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  4. What is the Effective Date of this Settlement?

    The Effective Date of this Settlement is the date when the Settlement becomes final, which is sixty-one (61) days after the date when the Final Order and Judgment in this Lawsuit is entered, unless there is an appeal. If there is an appeal, the Effective Date will be the date on which (a) all such appeals have been dismissed; or (b) the appropriate Court of Appeals has entered a final judgment affirming the Final Order and Judgment of the Court, which (i) is no longer subject to any further appellate challenge, or (ii) has been affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, whichever is earlier.

    For more information regarding final approval of the Settlement, see FAQs 20 and 21.

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  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

    You are a Class Member and part of the Settlement if you purchased or leased in the United States or its territories, including Puerto Rico, a 2013-2016 model year Nissan Altima vehicle equipped with a CVT.

    Excluded from the Settlement Class are: (1) Nissan North America, Inc. ("NNA"), any entity or division in which NNA has a controlling interest, its/their legal representatives, officers, directors, assigns and successors; (2) any judge to whom this case is assigned and the judge’s clerks and any member of the judge’s immediate family and any judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals; and (3) government purchasers and lessees.

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  6. What are the benefits of this Settlement?

    If you are a Class Member, you could receive one of the following benefits if the Settlement is approved:

    (1) Warranty Extension. Nissan will extend the terms of the Nissan New Vehicle Limited Warranty for the transmission assembly (including the valve body and torque converter) and Automatic Transmission Control Unit ("ATCU") in all Class Vehicles by twenty-four (24) months or twenty-four thousand (24,000) miles, whichever occurs first (the "Warranty Extension"). The Warranty Extension will be subject to the terms and conditions of the original New Vehicle Limited Warranty applicable to the Class Vehicle.

    (2) Reimbursement for Replacement of or Repair to Transmission Assembly or ATCU. Nissan will reimburse Class Members for parts and labor actually paid by the Class Member for qualifying repairs involving the replacement of or repair to the transmission assembly or ATCU of their Class Vehicle if the work was done after the expiration of the powertrain coverage under the original New Vehicle Limited Warranty but within the durational limits of the Warranty Extension. If the replacement or repair was performed by a Nissan dealer, the full amount the Class Member paid will be reimbursed. If the repair or replacement was performed by a non-Nissan automotive repair facility, Nissan will reimburse up to $5,000 for that repair or replacement. In both cases, the replacement or repair must have occurred on or before the Class Vehicle has been in service for eighty-four (84) months or been driven for eighty-four thousand (84,000) miles, whichever occurs first. If you paid for more repairs on more than one occasion, you can be reimbursed for all qualifying repairs subject to the above limits. For more information, see FAQ 8.

    (3) Voucher Towards Purchase or Lease of a New Vehicle. Former owners of Class Vehicles who had two (2) or more replacements or repairs to the transmission assembly or ATCU during their ownership experience (as reflected by NNA warranty records) are eligible for a Voucher in the amount of $1,000 for either a purchase or lease of a single new Nissan or Infiniti vehicle. Prior software updates and/or reprogramming do not count as a prior repair. The election to apply the Voucher toward the purchase or lease of a single new Nissan or Infiniti vehicle must be exercised within nine (9) months of the Effective Date of this Settlement. The Voucher is not transferable. Class Members eligible for a Voucher but also eligible for reimbursement of a qualifying repair must elect either to receive the Voucher or to receive reimbursement; you cannot receive both.

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  7. What if my car is more than 84 months old or has more than 84,000 miles on it?

    If you paid out of pocket for parts and labor for replacement of or repair to the transmission assembly or ATCU by a Nissan dealer or other non-Nissan automotive repair facility prior to your vehicle being in service for eighty-four (84) months or eighty-four thousand (84,000) miles, you may submit a claim for reimbursement. See FAQ 11 for information on how to submit a claim.

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  8. What if I have not repaired my car, but a Nissan dealer has diagnosed and recommended a replacement of or repair to the transmission?

    If a Nissan dealer diagnosed and recommended the replacement or repair of your transmission assembly or ATCU before your Class Vehicle had been in service for eighty-four (84) months or been driven for eighty-four thousand (84,000) miles (whichever occurs first), and you pay to have that replacement or repair performed before the vehicle has been driven 90,000 miles and no later than January 30, 2020, then, if you submit a valid claim, you would be eligible for reimbursement of the transmission repair or replacement costs, subject to the cap of $5,000 if the work was done by a non-Nissan automotive repair facility. Repairs made after 90,000 miles or after January 30, 2020, whichever occurs first, are not eligible for reimbursement.

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  9. Am I giving anything up in return for my benefit?

    Unless you get out of the Settlement (which is called "excluding yourself" or "opting out"), you are part of the Settlement Class. By staying part of the Settlement Class, Court orders will apply to you and you will give Nissan, Nissan-related companies and the selling or leasing dealer a "release." This release means you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant, its related companies or the selling or leasing dealer based upon or in any way related to transmission design, manufacturing, performance, or repair of Class Vehicles’ CVT. The specific claims and parties you will be releasing are described in full detail in Paragraphs 36, 37, 103, and 105 of the Settlement Agreement, available here.

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  10. What if I have a claim related to my transmission or the Extended Warranty in the future?

    If, in the future, you have a claim for breach of the extended warranty related to your transmission, based entirely on transmission performance issues, repairs or repair attempts, or any other conduct or events that occur after November 1, 2019, that claim is not released as a part of this Settlement. If you experience transmission problems after November 1, 2019 and within the Warranty Extension period, you must first present your vehicle to Nissan for repairs and request warranty coverage. If you have a dispute with Nissan regarding application of the Extended Warranty or its repairs under the warranty, you must first attempt to resolve the dispute through the BBB AUTO LINE dispute resolution program which is independently operated by the council of Better Business Bureau, Inc. ("BBB"). No lawsuit may be filed before a decision by the BBB AUTO LINE.

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  11. What do I need to do to get the benefits of this Settlement?

    To remain a Class Member and obtain the Warranty Extension, you do not have to do anything. Class Members who believe they are eligible to receive reimbursement for transmission repair or replacement (described in FAQs 6-8) must fill out and send to the Settlement Administrator a Claim Form. The Claim Form may be obtained here or by calling the Settlement Administrator at 1-855-582-3001. The completed Claim Form must be sent to the Settlement Administrator by mail at the address below or via this website by January 30, 2020  or within thirty (30) days after the date of the repair to your vehicle, whichever is later.

    Nissan Altima CVT Litigation Settlement Administrator

    P.O. Box 43506

    Providence, RI 02940-3506

    Upon receiving a Claim Form from a claimant, the Settlement Administrator will review the documentation and confirm or deny the Class Member’s eligibility for reimbursement.

    If you qualify for a $1,000 Voucher for purchase or lease of a single new Nissan or Infiniti vehicle, you will be notified by the Settlement Administrator. To apply the Voucher towards the purchase or lease of a single new Nissan or Infiniti vehicle, qualified individuals must visit an authorized Nissan or Infiniti dealer, provide their name and government-issued ID, and exercise their Voucher within nine (9) months of the Effective Date of this Settlement. The Voucher is not transferable but can be used in addition to all other types of valid discount offers, rebates and incentives. No single Class Member is entitled to more than five (5) Vouchers regardless of the total number of Class Vehicles purchased by that Class Member. If you believe you are eligible for both a $1,000 Voucher and reimbursement, you must elect on the Claim Form whether to receive reimbursement or a Voucher. You may not receive both benefits.

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  12. Can I get out of the Settlement?

    You can get out of the Settlement and the Class. This is called "excluding yourself" or "opting out." If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will not be entitled to receive the Settlement benefits. However, you will not be bound by any judgment or settlement of this class action lawsuit and will keep your right to sue Nissan independently over any claims you may have.

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  13. How can I exclude myself from the Settlement?

    To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must mail the Settlement Administrator a Request for Exclusion that contains the following information:

    (1) The name of the lawsuit: Christopher Gann, et al. v. Nissan North America, Inc., Case No. 3:18-cv-00966;

    (2) Your full name, current address and telephone number;

    (3) Your vehicle year and model:

    (4) Your vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN);

    (5) A clear statement of your intent to exclude yourself from the lawsuit (for example, "Please exclude me from the ‘CVT Litigation.’"); and

    (6) Your signature and the date you signed it.

    You must send your Request for Exclusion postmarked no later than February 7, 2020 to the address below:

    Nissan Altima CVT Litigation Settlement Administrator

    P.O. Box 43506

    Providence, RI 02940-3506

    If you do not follow these procedures and deadlines to exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will remain a Class Member and lose any opportunity to exclude yourself from the Settlement. This means that your rights will be determined in this lawsuit by the Settlement Agreement if it receives final approval from the Court.

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  14. Can I tell the court I do not like the Settlement?

    If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you can tell the Court you do not like the Settlement or some part of it by filing an objection to the Settlement. If you object to the Settlement, you remain a Class Member and cannot exclude yourself.

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  15. How can I object to the Settlement?

    In order to object, you must mail a written objection and any supporting papers to: (1) the Court, (2) Co-Lead Class Counsel, and (3) Nissan’s counsel. Your objection must contain the following:

    (1) The name of the lawsuit: Christopher Gann, et al. v. Nissan North America, Inc., Case No. 3:18-cv-00966;

    (2) Your full name, current address and telephone number;

    (3) Whether, as of the date of the written objection, you currently own or lease or whether you previously owned or leased a 2013-2016 Nissan Altima; the specific model year(s) and the approximate date(s) of purchase or lease (for example, “I currently own a 2013 Nissan Altima that I purchased in January 2013.”);

    (4) The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of your vehicle(s);

    (5) Current odometer mileage of the vehicle(s) if currently owned or leased;

    (6) Specific reasons for your objection, including the factual and legal grounds for your position;

    (7) Whether the objection applies only to you, a specific subset of the class, or to the entire class;

    (8) A list of any other objections to any class action settlements you have submitted to any court, whether State, Federal, or otherwise, in the United States in the previous five (5) years;

    (9) Evidence and supporting papers, if any, that you want the Court to consider in support of your objection;

    (10) Whether you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing, and whether you will be represented by separate counsel; and

    (11) Your signature and the date of your signature.

    You must file your objection with the Court and mail separate copies to at least one of Co-Lead Class Counsel, and Nissan’s counsel, by first-class United States Mail, no later than February 7, 2020.

    Your objection must be sent to the Court at the following address:

     

    United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division

    Christopher Gann, et al. v. Nissan North America, Inc.

    Case No. 3:18-cv-00966

    801 Broadway, Room 824

    Nashville, TN 37203

     

    The copies to be served on Co-Lead Class Counsel and Nissan’s counsel must be mailed to the following addresses:

     

    Co-Lead Class Counsel (send to at least one):

     

    Timothy G. Blood Ben Barnow Marc L. Godino Mark S. Greenstone
    BLOOD HURST & O’REARDON, LLP BARNOW AND ASSOCIATES, P.C. GLANCY PRONGAY & MURRAY LLP GREENSTONE LAW APC
    501 West Broadway, Suite 1490 205 West Randolph Street, Suite 1630 1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100 1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100
    San Diego, CA 92101 Chicago, IL 60606 Los Angeles, CA 90067 Los Angeles, CA 90067

     

    Counsel for Nissan:

     

    E. Paul Cauley, Jr.

    S. Vance Wittie

    DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH LLP

    1717 Main Street Suite 5400

    Dallas, Texas 75201

     

    If you timely file an objection, it will be considered by the Court at the Fairness Hearing. You do not need to attend the Fairness Hearing in order for the Court to consider your objection. If you do not comply with these procedures or deadline for objection, you will lose your opportunity to have your objections considered at the Fairness Hearing or otherwise contest the approval of the Settlement or to appeal from any order or judgment entered by the Court in connection with the Settlement.

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  16. What is the difference between excluding and objecting? Can I do both?

    Excluding yourself means getting out of the Settlement altogether – you would not be entitled to receive any benefits pursuant to the Settlement, but you will not be bound by the terms of the Settlement. Objecting means remaining in the Settlement, but complaining about some part of it you do not like. You cannot do both.

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  17. Can I appear at the Settlement hearing?

    As long as you do not exclude yourself, you can (but do not have to) participate and speak for yourself in this lawsuit and Settlement. This is called making an appearance. You can also have your own lawyer speak for you, but you will have to pay for the lawyer yourself.

    f you want to appear, or if you want your own lawyer instead of Class Counsel to speak for you in this lawsuit, you must file a written notice with the Court and serve your notice of intent to appear on the attorneys listed in FAQ 15. You must state in that paper, "I intend to appear at the hearing." The notice of intent to appear must be filed and served no later than February 7, 2020.

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  18. Do I need to hire my own attorney?

    You do not need to hire an attorney, but can if you want to. You, and the entire class, are already represented by a group of attorneys listed below, who are known as Co-Lead Class Counsel. You do not have to pay for Co-Lead Class Counsel’s services. You may contact Co-Lead Class Counsel if you have any questions about the Notice or Settlement, but please do not contact the Court.

    Co-Lead Class Counsel:

    Timothy G. Blood Ben Barnow Marc L. Godino Mark S. Greenstone
    Email: tblood@bholaw.com Email: b.barnow@barnowlaw.com Email: mgodino@glancylaw.com Email: mgreenstone@greenstonelaw.com
    BLOOD HURST & O’REARDON, LLP BARNOW AND ASSOCIATES, P.C. GLANCY PRONGAY & MURRAY LLP GREENSTONE LAW APC
    501 West Broadway, Suite 1490 205 West Randolph Street, Suite 1630 1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100 1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100
    San Diego, CA 92101 Chicago, IL 60606 Los Angeles, CA 90067 Los Angeles, CA 90067

     

    If you decide to hire your own attorney, you will have to pay for his or her services. Your attorney must file an appearance with the Court no later than February 7, 2020, and serve a copy on Co- Lead Class Counsel and Nissan’s counsel at the addresses provided in FAQ 15, postmarked no later than February 7, 2020.

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  19. How much is Class Counsel being paid?

    Co-Lead Class Counsel will apply to the Court for reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses in a total amount up to $5,900,000.00. Any award of attorneys’ fees and costs will be paid by Nissan separately from and in addition to any relief provided to the Settlement Class. Additionally, Co-Lead Class Counsel will apply to the Court for payments of $5,000 each to the nineteen (19) Class Representatives for their service to the Class. Any award of payments to the Class Representatives will be paid by Nissan separately from and in addition to any relief provided to the Settlement Class.

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  20. When will the Settlement become final?

    The Court approved the Settlement on March 6, 2020.

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  21. What happens if the Settlement is not approved?

    The Court approved the Settlement on March 6, 2020.

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  22. What if I do not do anything?

    If you do nothing, you will be a Class Member. You will be bound by the terms of the Settlement, which means you cannot bring a lawsuit against Defendant for the same claims at issue in this lawsuit. You will receive the Warranty Extension benefit of the Settlement automatically, and if you are eligible, you will also receive the Voucher benefit, but any Reimbursement benefits for which you may qualify can be obtained only by timely submitting a claim form.

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  23. Where can I get more information?

    If you have additional questions regarding the Notice or the Settlement, or if you did not receive Notice in the mail and believe that you may be a member of the Settlement Class, you should contact the Settlement Administrator by visiting this website or calling 1-855-582-3001 for more information, or you may communicate directly with Co-Lead Class Counsel by contacting the attorneys listed in FAQ 18.

    The Notice, which has been approved by the Court, is only a summary. If you wish to obtain more detailed information, you may review the Settlement Agreement, which contains the complete terms of the Settlement. The Settlement Agreement, along with the pleadings, records and other papers regarding the lawsuit, are available here and are on file with the Court and available to be inspected at any time during regular business hours at the Clerk’s office.

    The Clerk of the Court is located at:

    United States District Court

    Middle District of Tennessee

    801 Broadway, Room 800

    Nashville, TN 37203

    Please do not contact the Court.

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  24. I do not have a Claim Number. Can I still submit a Claim?

    Yes. If you believe you are a Class Member as described in FAQ 5, you can submit a claim without a Claim Number. You may submit your claim online or download a personalized claim form, and mail it in. To do so, click here and select one of the following options:

    a. I DO NOT have a claim number, but I would like to file a claim online.

    b. I DO NOT have a claim number, but I would like to download a personalized claim form, print it out, and mail it in.

    Your claim must be submitted online or postmarked by January 30, 2020 or within 30 days of a qualifying transmission repair, whichever is later.

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