2013 Infiniti JX35 - The dreaded CVT nightmare

All - looking for advice here. Bought a new 2013 JX35 in 11/2012. It was a great vehicle up until 2.5 years ago, 105K miles, the transmission failed. It was then I discovered I basically bought a mechanically flawed vehicle that Nissan/Infiniti were getting sued for - the woefully flawed CVT trans. I towed it back to the dealer, they told me it was $5600 to replace. We argued, I mentioned all the trouble Nissan was in with this, and we basically negotiated down to $1250 out of pocket for me - I don’t know what they worked out with the manufacturer. Couple weeks ago, familiar problems arise (jerky, not moving at all, requiring restart, etc.). This time the dealer said there was nothing they could do, and the replacement cost is now $8600. This new transmission barely had 30K miles on it. My question to the mechanical community - do I have standing to try and fight them for faulty service/parts? Or, am I just looking at a lost cause? The car is likely worth $9-10K resale. Many thanks for your advice.

It will never hurt to try for a warranty, was one listed after the replacement?

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That’s a good point but there was no warranty on the new transmission.

I would at least ask the question, whether to the dealer or to Nissan (Infiniti) corporate.

Either way, I’d dump the car as soon as possible, and get something without a CVT. This one isn’t going to get any better.


You may want to check into an independent shop for rebuild or rebuilt transmission.

Yeah - i think that’s another option for sure to get away from the dealer. Trying to respond to the dealer logically, but it’s hard when there’s this much anger…

The dealer is restricted by Nissan’s position on this. You can deal with the dealer, but the ultimate arbiter is Nissan. Telling the dealer/Nissan how much you looked forward to the car and how much the problems deflated your ardor for it could have a positive impact on the outcome. Being negative, no matter how much you’d like to be, won’t help you. Suck it up and play them for a cheap fix. Then sell it immediately.

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I could ask if you ever changed the fluid on the first transmission… but you did get it to 105K miles.

The 2nd one, well, it was due for a fluid change at 30K when it died. Nissan is not going to cover this as a 135K mile car.

Take it to an independent shop get a new or rebuilt (whatever is cheaper) trans installed and flush this turd as fast as you can. It is ONLY worth that $9-10K running.

Seeing estimates from independent shop for about $5K. Does that seem reasonable?

Well, it is $3500 less than the dealer, so more reasonable than that. You don’t have many alternatives. I don’t think a used CVT is a viable alternative.

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Just curious, but do you have paperwork on the trans replacement?
Was this trans a new direct from Infiniti unit or by chance a used unit?

I ask this because when I worked for Nissan a new from Nissan manual trans was ordered for a pickup with a trashed one. When uncrated it did not look quite right to me. It had the look of a unit that had seen a pressure washer and was not pristine in appearance. An inspection showed the new unit had apparently been hijacked at some point and replaced with a bad, used unit. No one ever sorted out what happened to the MIA new unit.

Trans fluid should be changed every 30k miles and especially so with CVTs so that should be kept in mind for reference.
Relative bought a new car with a CVT. I skimmed the owners manual and mentioned CVT fluid change every 30k miles as per the manual. Fluid changes never happened and at roughly 75k miles the CVT was failing.

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I would argue that since the CVT used in this vehicle has a defective design, replacing it with a new or used one is simply not an option. Unless you can find a shop willing to rebuild the transmission you already have, I would suggest putting no more money into this car and selling it “as-is” for whatever you can get.

I don’t think anyone is rebuilding these things. Just too complicated and they just R&R with a new one. I guess worth a shot. I have been wrong before but when an “Karen” goes after a shop, she sometimes wins where I would have folded. Between the oil burning and transmissions, Nissan has been off my list for years.

I have a hard time believing a new transmission installed at a Nissan/Infiniti dealership had no warranty . . .


Going back to the original post I see that I overlooked a critical point.

The OP did not get a NEW transmission. They apparently opted for a USED one with 30k miles on it and the OP using the term “new” only means it was new to the car that it was installed in. It was nowhere near a “new” transmission.

Go salvage you roll the dice. You have no case.

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Nissan parts have a 12 months/12,000 miles warranty. If the manufacture paid for the transmission and the customer paid for the labor this may further limit the warranty.

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I also reread OP’s original post

And I don’t see it the way you do

Nowhere was it explicitly stated that a used transmission with 30K was installed

My own conclusion is that a new transmission was installed 2-1/2 years ago, when the vehicle had 105K miles on it . . . and that transmission NOW has 30K on it


Are you saying the transmission works normally after a restart? If so, this could be an electrical or computer issue.

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In retrospect, I think db4690 is correct and that I was thinking (incorrectly) about that issue. My bad.

Just some food for thought. Some decades ago Nissan started offering remanufactured parts. That would mean an outside subcontractor.
What if the transmission the OP received 30k miles ago was not a new unit but a reman one?

There used to be a massive Ford reman facility in OKC which shipped reman stuff to Ford dealers nationwide. Even though run by Ford they also remanufactured GM transmissions.
I knew 2 guys who worked there. Both great guys to know BUT neither one had a mechanical bone in their body.

A huge engine reman facility in OKC used to advertise in the paper for “Engine builders. No experience necessary”.
That does not inspire a lot of confidence and things like this are what forms my generally unfavorable opinion about assembly line reman places.

It’s difficult to see a new unit failing in 30k miles even sans fluid changes. A reman unit could easily be a different ball game altogether.

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Makes me wonder where my GM Goodwrench reman diesel engine came from. It had a nice paint job though.