Nissan Recalls My Car But Then Refuses To Take It Back

It’s really very responsible when a car company like Nissan lets its customers know there is a safety problem with their vehicles, and issues a recall. But what happens when they won’t take the recalled car back, for no reason anyone can figure out, including Nissan?

Such was the case for Consumerist reader David. He found out that his Nissan Pathfinder had been recalled for a fault fuel filler, and his vehicle was showing the symptoms of this — leaking gasoline if the tank is topped off.

He found the recall document, which stated that 2001 Nissan Pathfinders with VINS JN8*R0***1W500001 – 617275 were being recalled.

He writes (and we’ve starred out part of his VIN to protect his info):

I have a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder with the VIN JN8DR0****W5****6. This number falls in between the recalled vehicles.

However, when I attempt to call Nissan about this, they claim that my vehicle is not eligible for this recall — despite the fact that there was a national recall and my VIN is eligible. The best part is no one from Nissan can seem to tell me WHY my vehicle is not eligible for the recall, and they just keep restating the fact that my vehicle has no open recalls.

Frustrated, any suggestions? I don’t want my car to explode.

Has anyone else run into a similar problem, with Nissan or any other car company?

Comments

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  1. Watcher95 says:

    I suspect there is more to this story

    • common_sense84 says:

      My guess is he is outside the warranty period. It is probably 100k miles or 10 years.

      • TuxRug says:

        Even if you are way outside your warranty, they still have to repair conditions related to the recall. Even if you have 200k miles on your car, if they issue a recall for your transmission for example, and you haven’t already had it replaced, they have to fix the problem.

  2. swarrior216 says:

    Go to the dealership instead?

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Yeah…drive your vehicle to an actual Nissan dealer and have them attempt to process the vehicle for the recall. One way or another they’ll have to sort it out…

  3. nbs2 says:

    Haven’t had to deal with this before, but I have to ask if he has tried taking it to the dealer. Also, what does he mean when he says, “when I attempt to call Nissan”? Did he call corporate or did he call a local dealer – if the latter, what happens when he tries another local dealer?

    In the end, I’d take it to the dealer, present the recall info and his VIN, point out that it falls in line. If they refuse to repair the problem advise them that you will be taking it to another dealer and invoicing them for the time and mileage differential.

    • common_sense84 says:

      Yup, dealers lie all the time. Hoping you will go to another dealer so they don’t have to worry about this.

      My friend had a chevy blazer where the first dealer claimed he had no recalls, even when he showed them the printout of the recall. He tried another dealer and that dealer happily took the work and did not ever try to say they could not do it.

  4. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Could it be a state – specific recall? I have a Ford Taurus with a recall for rust.

    If the car were registered in Idaho, it would be recalled. I live in Utah, so no recall.

    Idaho is 20 minutes North of me.

  5. GaroldH says:

    Issue aside (since I have nothing to add to it), you shouldn’t be topping off your fuel tank.

    • Quake 'n' Shake says:

      If you have a better way of rounding $46.78 up to $47.00, I’d like to hear it.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      Agreed. In my last car, if it was attempted to be “rounded off”, the gas would just spill out.

      I’d say, “Fill it up, cash!” (by the way, it is full service only where I live). It would go up to $27.73, the the attendant would round it off. The $0.27 of gas would then spill on the floor. The attendant would then say, “$28″. You want me to pay for gas you just poured onto the side of my car?? On top of that, he didn’t even have change!

      That happened more than once, so now I just estimate (in my new car) how much money it would take to fill it up. So far I’ve been pretty accurate, getting to the Full line without over filling (while keeping things at nice round numbers).

  6. oooooops says:

    Is this one of the state specific recalls and your car is not in one of those states? This happens for things a lot when there are conditions (salt on the road/etc)

    Even if that’s the case, Nissan usually has decent customer service – especially if you have used the dealership for service in the past (or at least my dealership has always been good about it to date).

    Who keeps telling you your vehicle has no open recalls? The dealership or Nissan USA?

    • adrienna says:

      +1 The only recall that I could find that sort of fits the writer’s description is a state-specific recall. The filler neck is rusting out, and they’re replacing them with a better-coated one.

    • akajbuddha says:

      I agree, I had a state specific recall on my Nissan last year and the state I live in was not included. I went to the dealership to see if there was any way I could be included in the fix even though I didn’t live in one of the recalled states. The dealership checked my records and let me know they had actually fixed the recall for me at my previous oil change. They took the initiative to fix it even though my vehicle was not included in the state specific recall which made me a very happy and loyal Nissan owner.

  7. sp00nix says:

    My stanza does that. it was a recall, but being a 91 i never bothered. I just dont park on slopes when i top off.

  8. ehchan says:

    Sometimes it takes time for their systems to flag the car. My BMW was on the recall list for the HPFP problems, but it took 3 months from the time it was announced to the time my car was actually recalled and I received the letter.

    • cameronl says:

      plausible. I had an air compressor recalled recently. I learned about it from an email from The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and called the provided number the next day. The folks at the manufacturer had no idea about it and didn’t know what procedure to follow. The regional authorized repair facility was also clueless. It took a few days and calls to finally work things out. By that time data had trickled down and they knew what to do.

  9. MightyHorse says:

    in the five years that i was a nissan owner i never once had a pleasant customer service experience. when a known design flaw trashed my transmission, i was told that they couldn’t help me out because i wasn’t a loyal enough customer. when i asked what that meant, i was told, “because you only own one nissan product and you don’t always take it to one of our dealers to get an oil change.” that’s exactly why i am no longer a nissan customer.

  10. powdered beefmeat says:

    This happens quite often; i.e. an engine heater coil was bad on my Nissan truck (my VIN was in the recall notice) however i don’t live in any of the “frozen” states so Nissan stated I wasn’t eligible. Understandable, also if you have ANY issues with your car always contact the manufacture first and not the dealership a few emails can do amazing things!

  11. AllanG54 says:

    If your car is eligible and Nissan won’t do anything about it you might tried contacting NHTSA and see if they can help you with it.

  12. stevenpdx says:

    Did the OP receive a recall notice in the mail?

  13. Bluth_Cornballer says:

    The vehicle is a 2001. Most of the time manufactures only allow a “reasonable window” to schedule a recall service. If the original recall was issued 9-10 years ago, then there is a chance that the recall is out of date and the service timetable has lapsed. The cost of repair then shifts from the manufacturer to the owner.

    It’s possible that in 10 years, the normal wear and tear on the vehicle is what it causing the problem. A dealership shouldn’t be held responsible for that repair at this time.

  14. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    The actual recall notice for anyone who wonders:
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 07V435000

    Component: FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:STORAGE:TANK ASSEMBLY:FILLER PIPE AND CAP
    Manufacturer: NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 372250

    Year: 2001
    Make: Nissan
    Model: Pathfinder
    Manufactured
    from: 1997-05-24
    to: 2001-07-26
    Recall Date: 2007-09-18

    Summary:

    ON CERTAIN VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, IOWA, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, KENTUCKY, MASSACHUSETTS, MAINE, MARYLAND, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, TENNESSEE, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA , WISCONSIN AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DURING THE COATING PROCESS OF THE FUEL FILLER TUBE ASSEMBLY, AN INSUFFICIENT AMOUNT OF COATING MAY HAVE BEEN APPLIED AT THE LOWER MOUNTING BRACKET. THIS COULD RESULT IN AN OPENING IN THE COATING WHICH CAN ALLOW WATER TO ENTER AND MAKE CONTACT WITH THE BARE METAL OF THE TUBE.

    THIS MAY RESULT IN SURFACE RUST BUT NOT PERFORATION OF THE TUBE. HOWEVER, IN THOSE AREAS OF THE COUNTRY WHICH USE HEAVY CONCENTRATIONS OF ROAD SALT IN THE WINTER, IF A MIXTURE OF SNOW/WATER AND SALT MAKES CONTACT WITH THE BARE METAL, CORROSION MAY OCCUR TO A DEGREE WHICH RESULTS IN PERFORATION OF THE TUBE. IN THIS CASE FUEL LEAKAGE MAY OCCUR WHEN FILLING THE TANK. FUEL LEAKAGE, IN THE PRESENCE OF AN IGNITION SOURCE, COULD RESULT IN A FIRE.

    DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE FUEL FILLER TUBE ASSEMBLY WITH A NEW ONE WITH AN IMPROVED COATING PROCESS. THE RECALL BEGAN ON NOVEMBER 26, 2007. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261.

    Source: http://www.nissanextendedwarranty.com/recalls/nissan/2001/pathfinder/index.html

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      This really should have been in the original post. How hard was is it find?

      I love this site, but (I may be wrong) it seems like The Consumerist articles used to suggest some direction, or provide some contact info for execs in the original post. Now it seems like every one is, “Here is this guys problem. Readers, what should he do?”

  15. SG-Cleve says:

    There is no mention of a recall notice.

    Did he receive a recall notice? If not then his car is not included in the recall.

  16. Magrath says:

    I don’t know much about who represents you in the government in America, but I recommend you send them a letter. They can possibly contact the right people and get your problem dealt with. It is a huge safety issue with leaking gasoline straight from your tank.

    Or you can DYI. Duct tape fixes everything.

  17. benson304 says:

    http://www.automotive.com/2001/49/nissan/pathfinder/recalls/51429.html

    Description
    ON CERTAIN VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, IOWA, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, KENTUCKY, MASSACHUSETTS, MAINE, MARYLAND, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, TENNESSEE, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA , WISCONSIN AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DURING THE COATING PROCESS OF THE FUEL FILLER TUBE ASSEMBLY, AN INSUFFICIENT AMOUNT OF COATING MAY HAVE BEEN APPLIED AT THE LOWER MOUNTING BRACKET. THIS COULD RESULT IN AN OPENING IN THE COATING WHICH CAN ALLOW WATER TO ENTER AND MAKE CONTACT WITH THE BARE METAL OF THE TUBE.

    Consequence
    THIS MAY RESULT IN SURFACE RUST BUT NOT PERFORATION OF THE TUBE. HOWEVER, IN THOSE AREAS OF THE COUNTRY WHICH USE HEAVY CONCENTRATIONS OF ROAD SALT IN THE WINTER, IF A MIXTURE OF SNOW/WATER AND SALT MAKES CONTACT WITH THE BARE METAL, CORROSION MAY OCCUR TO A DEGREE WHICH RESULTS IN PERFORATION OF THE TUBE. IN THIS CASE FUEL LEAKAGE MAY OCCUR WHEN FILLING THE TANK. FUEL LEAKAGE, IN THE PRESENCE OF AN IGNITION SOURCE, COULD RESULT IN A FIRE.

    Remedy
    DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE FUEL FILLER TUBE ASSEMBLY WITH A NEW ONE WITH AN IMPROVED COATING PROCESS. THE RECALL BEGAN ON NOVEMBER 26, 2007. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261.

    Read more: http://www.automotive.com/2001/49/nissan/pathfinder/recalls/51429.html#ixzz1LE3dOqDa

  18. houseboat says:

    “Fuel leakage while filling the tank due to a rusty filler tube” is not the same as “fuel leakage when topping off”. If the fuel only leaks when topping off, it’s probably because the charcoal filter has become saturated from overfilling the tank…which is why most car makers now advise against topping off the tank. The recall is for a filler tube that has rusted and leaks when you are filling the tank, regardless of whether or not you’re topping off.

  19. CarlS says:

    If the VIN is within the listed range, then the vehicle is covered. The statement “Vehicles originally sold or registered in …” has little or no bearing on the problem, since we are not governed by the Kremlin and are thus able to sell and buy vehicles anywhere across the nation. Visit the NHTSA website ( http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/problems/ ) and check the Recalls database.

  20. ISTRUTNICE says:

    I recently took my Nissan Sentra in for service. They told me that there was an overdue recall on my car, but I had to pay for repairs because the recall was out of date (1 year or 12k miles).

    Looking into it more I found that some car companies do this, limit recalls to specific timelines.

    Since I did not know about the recall, and waited too ling to fix it, I ended up with an $800 bill. They did throw in a free oil change at least, which is nice, because I liked being kissed before I get F***ED!

  21. Froggmann says:

    Just take it into the dealer. Same thing happened when I took in my 89 RX-7 in for the seat belt actuator recall. First I was snubbed then when I produced the actual recall they took care of it right away.

    If there is paperwork in front of them saying there is an official recall and there is no expiration date on it they have to take care of it or else NTHSA (Once they find out about the violation) will come down on them.

  22. Froggmann says:

    Just take it into the dealer. Same thing happened when I took in my 89 RX-7 in for the seat belt actuator recall. First I was snubbed then when I produced the actual recall they took care of it right away.

    If there is paperwork in front of them saying there is an official recall and there is no expiration date on it they have to take care of it or else NTHSA (Once they find out about the violation) will come down on them.

  23. EverCynicalTHX says:

    First question I would ask before responding or writing a story is this:

    Does David live in one of the following states?

    CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, IOWA, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, KENTUCKY, MASSACHUSETTS, MAINE, MARYLAND, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, TENNESSEE, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA , WISCONSIN AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

    If not the recall doesn’t apply to him so no need for the story.

  24. DustingWhale says:

    call back, go through the same dialogue, when they say its not part of the recall, calmly ask, “So its normal for the gas tank to leak when filled completely?” Keep going with this logic, extending it to, “So what you’re saying, if I hear you correctly, is that it’s normal for a Nissan to leak gasoline, and I should tell all my friends, family and co-workers to avoid buying a Nissan if they usually fill their tank to the top?”

    If you don’t get anywhere, expand you logic to, “So it’s normal for a Nissan to leak gas, and be an extreme fire hazard after filling up? What happens if enough vapors leak into my garage to start a fire from the gas tank? You’ve already said its normal for it to leak gas liquid.”

    This is one of those easy slam dunk cases. Just press, be polite, don’t let them get you off the phone.

    • genedipirro says:

      Nissans response to that should be,

      ” Have you read your owners manual? ” I suppose you missed this part in BIG BOLD LETTERS that says
      WARNING
      Do not attempt to top off the fuel tank
      after the fuel pump nozzle shuts off
      automatically. Continued refueling may
      cause fuel overflow, resulting in fuel
      spray and possibly a fire.