Nissan and Infiniti vehicles equipped with electronic key ignition systems are allegedly defectively designed as a driver can turn off the engine and remove the key while in any gear, while federal safety regulations require that a vehicle be in "Park" before a driver can turn off the ignition and remove the key.
This is an ongoing investigation and pending class action lawsuit against Nissan Motor Company, LTD and its subsidiary Nissan North America, Inc. alleging that Nissan violated common law and statutory law by equipping Nissan and Infiniti vehicles with electronic "smart keys" that do not comply with federal safety regulations.
Nissan manufactures and sells automobiles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands, including such well known models as the Nissan Maxima, Nissan Altima, Nissan Murano, Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Rogue, Nissan Sentra and Infiniti vehicles.
Beginning in 2002, Nissan began equipping some of its vehicles in the United States with keys embedded with an electronic chip that would unlock the ignition and activate the vehicle's starting mechanism. This type of electronic key is sometimes referred to as a "smart key" or "intelligent key". A Nissan vehicle with an intelligent key or smart key generally has a "Start/Stop" button on the dashboard and the key itself is not a conventional looking key but rather is a transponder that fits into a slot or holster on the dashboard.
Automobile manufactures in the United States must comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, which is a comprehensive set of rules and regulations designed to protect consumers. One provision of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards provides that all vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission be designed to prevent a driver from removing the vehicle's key from the ignition unless the vehicle's transmission is in "Park". This is effectuated by "locking" the key into place while the vehicle is not in "park". This type of locking system is referred to as a Key Ignition Transmission Shift Interlock. Part of the rationale for such a system is to prevent a driver from walking away from a car that is not in "park" thereby risking a "roll-away" accident.
The pending class action lawsuit against Nissan alleges that its smart key or intelligent key does not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The class action lawsuit alleges that Nissan and Infiniti vehicles with a smart key or intelligent key can be turned off in any gear and the key can then be removed from its slot or holster. Significantly, competitiors of Nissan have all designed systems that comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
This class action lawsuit then seeks to represent all owners or lessees of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles equipped with the intelligent key or smart key ignitions.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. manufactures automobiles and trucks.
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