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 |  Aug 26 2011, 3:45 PM

Owners of Nissan’s 2005-2010 Pathfinders, Frontiers and Xteras are experiencing failures to their automatic transmissions because radiator coolant is leaking into the system. The radiator cooler tanks are rupturing, which forces the coolant into the transmission through the transmission cooler lines. Nissan has offered an extended warranty for the radiators, but the coverage only applies to vehicles with fewer than 80,000 miles.

Owners are upset that Nissan didn’t notify them about the radiator problem. “The issue here is that Nissan knew that they had a faulty radiator and instead of recalling the radiator they extended the warranty knowing that the majority of the cars would surpass 80,000 miles before they started having problems with the transmission,” wrote Eva Saldivar of Porterville, California, in her complaint to the Center for Auto Safety. Her 2005 Pathfinder had 115,000 miles when she had to pay about $6,000 for repairs. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has at least 200 complaints regarding this transmission issue and the Center for Auto Safety has around 50 complaints.

In October, Nissan extended the warranty on the radiators of 2005-2010 Frontiers, Pathfinders and Xterras from three years or 36,000 miles to eight years or 80,000 miles. Nissan said only “a small percentage” of vehicles might experience the coolant-leak problem, which it blames on “an internal crack on the oil cooler tube”.

Clarence Ditlow, the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety said an investigation is warranted because owners are reporting safety-related problems, like rapid slowing or the inability to safely cross an intersection.

No official investigation or recall has been announced.

[Source: New York Times]