Falco v. Nissan Settlement

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the lawsuit about?

    A lawsuit called Falco, et al. v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:13-cv-00686-DDP-MANx, was filed against Nissan North America, Inc. (“NNA”) and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (“NML”) (collectively “Nissan”) by four individuals on behalf of themselves and all current and former owners and lessees of a 2004-2008 model year Nissan Maxima, 2004-2009 model year Nissan Quest, 2004-2006 model year Nissan Altima (equipped with a VQ35 engine), 2005-2007 model year Nissan Pathfinder, 2005-2007 model year Nissan Xterra, and 2005-2007 model year Nissan Frontier (equipped with a VQ40 engine) (the “Class Vehicles”). The people who sued are called the Plaintiffs. The company they sued, Nissan, is called the Defendant.

    Plaintiffs contend that the Class Vehicles contain a timing chain defect. The Plaintiffs brought claims against Nissan for breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment, fraudulent concealment, and violation of various state consumer protection statutes. They also sought various injunctive remedies and damages.

    Nissan has disputed and continues to dispute all of Plaintiffs’ claims, denies all allegations of wrongdoing, fault, liability or damage of any kind to Plaintiffs or the Settlement Class (as defined in FAQ 4), 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 might have similar claims. The people together are a “Class” or “Class Members.” The Court preliminarily decided that this lawsuit can be a class action. This means that, if the Settlement does not receive final approval by the Court, then Settlement Class Members will not get benefits under this Settlement, and Plaintiffs will need to go back to court to prove their case through trial.

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  3. Why is there a settlement?

    While the Plaintiffs believe that their case is meritorious, they have agreed to this Settlement because, if it is approved, it provides substantial benefits to the Class, while avoiding significant risks of whether the classes would be decertified or whether the claim could prevail at 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 ensure satisfaction, to preserve and enhance goodwill with Nissan customers, and to end further litigation in this lawsuit, which could be protracted, burdensome, and expensive for both Plaintiffs and Nissan.

    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.

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

    You are a Settlement Class Member and part of the Settlement if you purchased or leased in California or Washington, a Class Vehicle, unless excluded as set forth below.

    Excluded from the Settlement Class are:

    1. Nissan, any entity or division in which Nissan has a controlling interest or affiliation, its/their legal representatives, officers, directors, employees, assigns and successors;
    2. Plaintiffs’ counsel, and their employees;
    3. Judicial officers and their immediate family members and associated court staff assigned to this case, or the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; and
    4. Persons or entities who or which timely and properly exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.

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  5. What are the possible benefits of this Settlement?

    The Settlement provides, at the option of the Settlement Class Member, either partial reimbursement or a voucher towards the purchase of a new Nissan vehicle, if you paid or pay to diagnose, repair, and/or replace the primary or secondary timing chain systems or components in a Class Vehicle after the factory warranty of 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever occurs first, has expired but before the vehicle has accumulated more than 120,000 miles.

    1. For repairs made after the powertrain coverage under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty has expired (5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever occurs first) but at fewer than 80,001 miles, you may elect (a) for Nissan to reimburse 80% of the first $900 of the cost actually paid, or (b) a voucher in the amount of $1,500 towards the purchase of a new Nissan vehicle.
    2. For repairs made when the vehicle has more than 80,000 miles but fewer than 100,001 miles, you may elect (a) for Nissan to reimburse 50% of the first $900 of the cost actually paid, or (b) a voucher in the amount of $1,000 towards the purchase of a new Nissan vehicle.
    3. For repairs made when the vehicle has more than 100,000 miles but not more than 120,000 miles, you may elect (a) for Nissan to reimburse 20% of the first $900 of the cost actually paid, or (b) a voucher in the amount of $500 towards the purchase of a new vehicle.

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  6. What are the limitations on reimbursement claims and vouchers based on the vehicle’s mileage at the time the Qualifying Repair occurred?

    With the sale of its new vehicles, Nissan provided a warranty period of five years or 60,000 miles, whichever occurred first. During this time, diagnosis, repair, or replacement to the primary or secondary timing chain systems or components would have been paid for by Nissan under the warranty. The limitation on recovery of repair cost for vehicles driven less than five years, or driven less than 60,000 miles, is because such repair cost would have been paid by Nissan under warranty. The limitation on recovery of repair costs after a vehicle has been driven more than 120,000 miles is because this is a settlement negotiated by the Parties.

    A timing chain repair performed in connection with an engine replacement or major engine repairs is not eligible for reimbursement under the Settlement.

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  7. 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.” A release means you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Nissan, Nissan-related companies, or the selling or leasing dealer about the claims or issues in this lawsuit ever again. The specific claims and parties you will be releasing are described in paragraphs 29-31 and 83 of the Settlement Agreement.

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

    To get a reimbursement or a voucher for repairs, as provided for in the Settlement, you must complete and submit a Claim Form. You may mail the completed Claim Form and necessary documentation to the Claims Administrator or you may submit a Claim Form and documentation electronically by clicking here.

    You have limited amount of time to submit a Claim Form. Read below to understand which deadline applies to you and what steps you must take:

    1. Repairs Made Before April 2, 2018

      If you replaced or repaired any timing chain system component (e.g., primary timing chain, secondary timing chain, slack guide, timing chain tensioner) prior to April 2, 2018, you can submit a claim for reimbursement or a voucher.

      To obtain a reimbursement or a voucher for a repair you have already made, you must submit the completed Claim Form with necessary documentation to the Claims Administrator by 11:59 p.m. PST on July 2, 2018 if filing online, or postmarked by July 2, 2018 if filing by mail. Claim Forms submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

    2. Repairs Made After April 2, 2018

      To obtain a reimbursement or a voucher for a repair made in the future, you must submit a completed Claim Form with necessary documentation to the Claims Administrator within 90 days of that repair. Claim Forms submitted more than 90 days after the date of repair will not be considered.

      If you submit a claim after April 2, 2018, your claim must include a repair order from an authorized Nissan dealer establishing that repairs to the timing chain system are necessary because of a broken slack guide retention clip, an unseated slack guide, or worn secondary tensioner shoes. You must have your vehicle diagnosed at an authorized dealership, but you may take your vehicle to either a Nissan Dealer or other non-Nissan automotive repair facility for the repair.

      If your vehicle is making a high frequency buzzing/whining noise coming from the engine that increases in frequency with engine speed, this might be an indication that your timing chain system may need to be repaired.

      Reimbursement checks and vouchers may not be mailed until 90 days after (a) the Settlement is finally approved by the Court after the Fairness Hearing and a Final Order and Judgment has been entered by the Court; or, (b) if an appeal is filed, until (i) all such appeals have been dismissed, or (ii) the appropriate Court of Appeals has entered a final judgment affirming the Final Order and Judgment of the Court which is no longer subject to any further appellate challenge or has been affirmed by the United States Supreme Court.

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  9. 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, if you want.

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  10. How can I exclude myself from the Settlement?

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

    1. The name of the lawsuit: “Falco, et al. v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:13-cv-00686-DDP-MANx”;
    2. Your full name, current address, and telephone number;
    3. Your vehicle year and model;
    4. Your vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and, if you still own your vehicle, your mileage as of April 2, 2018;
    5. A specific statement of your intent to exclude yourself from the lawsuit (for example, “Please exclude me from the Settlement Class in the Falco v Nissan Settlement Litigation.”); and
    6. Your signature and the date you signed it.

    You must send your Request for Exclusion by First-Class United States Mail, postmarked no later than June 11, 2018 to the Claims Administrator at the address below:

    Falco v. Nissan Settlement
    Claims Administrator
    P.O. Box 4230
    Portland, OR 97208-4230

    If you do not follow these procedures and deadlines to exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will remain a Settlement 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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  11. Can I tell the Court I do not like the Settlement?

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

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  12. How can I object to the Settlement?

    If you did not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may object to any aspect of the Settlement. In order to object, you or your attorney must file with or mail to the Court a written objection and any supporting papers and also mail your objection and any supporting papers to: (1) Class Counsel, (2) Nissan’s counsel, and (3) the Claims Administrator. Your objections must contain the following:

    1. The name of the lawsuit: “Falco, et al. v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:13-cv-00686-DDP-MANx”;
    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 Class Vehicle, the specific model year(s) and the approximate date(s) of purchase or lease; (ex. “I currently own a 2004 model year Nissan Maxima that I purchased in January 2004”);
    4. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of your vehicle(s);
    5. Current odometer mileage of the vehicle(s) if currently owned or leased;
    6. Each specific reason for your objection, including the grounds for your position;
    7. All evidence and supporting papers (for example, briefs, written evidence, and declarations) that you want the Court to consider in support of your objection;
    8. Whether you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing, also known as a Final Approval Hearing, and whether you will be represented by separate counsel;
    9. A list of all persons, if any, who will be called to testify in support of the objection; and
    10. Your signature and the date of your signature.

    If you, or your separate counsel, wish to appear and be heard orally at the Final Approval Hearing, you must state your desire to appear personally or by your separate counsel in your written objection. However, Settlement Class Members who object to the Settlement are not required to attend the Final Approval Hearing. You must mail your objection to the Claims Administrator and mail separate copies to Class Counsel and Nissan’s counsel by First-Class United States Mail, no later than June 11, 2018.

    Your objection must be sent by First-Class United States Mail to the Claims Administrator at the following address:

    Falco v. Nissan Settlement
    Claims Administrator
    P.O. Box 4230
    Portland, OR 97208-4230

    The copies to be served on Class Counsel and Nissan’s counsel must be mailed by First-Class United States Mail to the following addresses:


    Class Counsel Counsel for Nissan
    Roland Tellis, Esq.
    Baron & Budd, PC
    15910 Ventura Boulevard
    Suite 1600
    Encino, CA 91436
    E. Paul Cauley, Jr., Esq.
    Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
    1717 Main Street
    Suite 5400
    Dallas, TX 75201

    If you do not comply with these procedures or the deadline for objection, you will lose your opportunity to have your objections considered at the Final Approval Hearing or otherwise contest the approval of the Settlement or to appeal any order or judgment entered by the Court in connection with the Settlement.

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  13. 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 or 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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  14. 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.

    If you want to appear, or if you want your own lawyer instead of Class Counsel to participate or speak for you in this lawsuit, you must provide written notice in your objection to the Settlement mailed to the Court and mailed to the attorneys listed above in FAQ 12. You must state in that notice, “I intend to appear at the hearing.”

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  15. 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 Class Counsel. You do not have to pay for Class Counsel’s services. You may contact Class Counsel if you have any questions about the Notice or Settlement, but please do not contact the Court.


    Class Counsel
    Roland Tellis, Esq.
    Mark Pifko, Esq.
    David Fernandes, Esq.
    Baron & Budd, PC
    15910 Ventura Boulevard
    Suite 1600
    Encino, CA 91436
    Payam Shahian, Esq.
    Michael Devlin, Esq.
    Strategic Legal Practices
    1840 Century Park East
    Suite 430
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    Jordan Lurie, Esq.
    Cody Padgett, Esq.
    Capstone Law, APC
    1875 Century Park East
    Suite 1000
    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 June 11, 2018 with the Clerk of the Court, and must send a copy by First-Class United States Mail, to Class Counsel and Nissan’s counsel at the addresses provided above in FAQ 12, postmarked no later than June 11, 2018.

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  16. How much is Class Counsel being paid?

    Class Counsel will apply to the Court for attorneys’ fees in a total amount up to $5,200,000 and expenses in the total amount up to $800,000. Any award of attorneys’ fees and expenses will be paid by Nissan separately from and in addition to any relief provided to the Settlement Class. Additionally, Class Counsel will apply to the Court for payments of $5,000 each to the 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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  17. What was the outcome of the Final Approval (“Fairness”) Hearing on July 16, 2018?

    The Order Granting Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Final Judgment were entered for the Falco v. Nissan Settlement on July 19, 2018.

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  18. When will the Settlement become final?

    The Court has granted Final Approval to the Settlement on July 19, 2018, and finds that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Settlement will become effective 61 days after the date when the Final Approval Order and Final Judgment have been entered, and if no appeal or no motion to extend the time for filing an appeal has been filed.

    If there are any appeals to the Final Judgment, those appeals must be resolved before the Settlement can become effective. Any updates to the Falco v. Nissan Settlement will be posted to this website, when available.

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  19. What happens if the Settlement is not approved?

    If the Court does not approve the Settlement, Settlement Class Members will not be entitled to receive the Settlement benefits described in the Notice and FAQ 5. It will be as if no Settlement had been reached.

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  20. What if I do not do anything?

    If you do nothing, you will still be a Settlement Class Member. However, you will not be entitled to any reimbursement or a voucher towards the purchase of a new Nissan vehicle if you do not timely submit a Claim Form with the required documentation, within the timeframe required by the Settlement. You will be bound by the terms of the Settlement, which means you cannot bring a lawsuit against Nissan for the same claims at issue in this lawsuit.

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  21. Where can I get more information?

    If you have additional questions regarding this Settlement, or if you did not receive Notice in the mail and believe that you may be a member of the Settlement Class, you can download a copy here or you can contact the Claims Administrator by calling 1-844-763-6373 or emailing info@FalcovNissan.com for more information, or you may communicate directly with Class Counsel by contacting:


    Class Counsel
    Roland Tellis, Esq.
    Mark Pifko, Esq.
    David Fernandes, Esq.
    Baron & Budd, PC
    15910 Ventura Boulevard
    Suite 1600
    Encino, CA 91436
    rtellis@baronbudd.com
    mpifko@baronbudd.com
    dfernandes@baronbudd.com
    Jordan Lurie, Esq.
    Cody Padgett, Esq.
    Capstone Law, APC
    1875 Century Park East
    Suite 1000
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    jordan.lurie@capstonelawyers.com
    cody.padgett@capstonelawyers.com
    Payam Shahian, Esq.
    Michael Devlin, Esq.
    Strategic Legal Practices
    1840 Century Park East
    Suite 430
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    pshahian@slpattorney.com

    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 on the Documents page of this website, 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
    Central District of California, Western Division
    350 W 1st Street
    Suite 4311
    Los Angeles, CA 90012-4565

    Please do not contact the Court.

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