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Leigh Day approached by consumers affected by Nissan Qashqai engine problems

Car manufacturer identifies problem with engine timing belt

Posted on 18 July 2014

Product liability lawyers at Leigh Day have been alerted by consumers who have suffered serious engine damage because of an alleged defect in the Nissan Qashqai.

Some car owners have been left with engines beyond repair and have been forced to buy expensive new engines.

The engine damage is thought to be linked to a premature failure of the engines’ rubber timing belt, which operates at high speeds while the engine is running.

In some cases the timing belt can fray, or even snap because of a reported misalignment in the manufacturing process.

The timing belt maintains the steady rotation of the camshaft, an essential part of a car’s engine that mixes air and fuel to produce power. The camshaft rotates hundreds of times per minute and, if the timing belt breaks when the car is moving, it can cause extensive damage to parts of the engine.

In April 2013, ITV reported that around 18,000 1.5 litre Nissan Qashqai’s were affected, all manufactured between September 2009 and August 2010. According to ITV, Nissan released the following statement:

"Nissan has identified that premature timing belt wear may occur due to insufficient belt alignment and as a result, you may experience abnormal engine noise”.

“If the vehicle continues to be driven in this condition, in extreme cases timing belt separation may occur and this can cause incorrect engine timing and the engine may stall."

It appears some Nissan drivers are only now discovering problems which have led to serious damage.

This warning about Nissan’s problems with its engines comes as Ford announces that it is recalling some 2014 Escape models in the US because of the possible risk of roof glass separating from the vehicle, potentially causing a crash.

Product liability partner Jill Paterson said:

“Motorists have the right to expect that the vehicles they use are fit to be driven and are fit for purpose.”

“The alleged defects in some models could be the cause of serious injury if those cars are involved in a road traffic accident.”

“We hope that the automotive industry will take its responsibilities seriously and make every effort to contact consumers who have bought the affected cars as soon as possible.”
To speak to a member of the product liability team please contact Jill Paterson on 020 7650 1219, or fill in our enquiry form and someone from the team will get back to you.