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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone else noticed that the NHTSA "Murano Alternator Investigation" has been CLOSED?
The summary states the investigation has been upgraded to another level. Anyone have any idea what this might mean?
RichE :confused: :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I copied the SUMMARY from the NHTSA site as follows:

Make: NISSAN
Model: MURANO
Type: MULTIPURPOSE PASSENGER VEHICLE
Year: 2003
NHTSA Action Number: PE04077
Summary:
ODI OPENED PE04-077 BASED ON 14 REPORTS OF ALLEGED ENGINE STALLING DUE TO ALTERNATOR FAILURE. ALL OF THE COMPLAINTS REPORTED THAT THE VEHICLE COULD NOT BE RESTARTED AFTER THE STALL OCCURRED. DURING PE04-077, ADDITIONAL FAILURE DATA WAS IDENTIFIED AS NOTED IN THE FAILURE REPORT SUMMARY ABOVE . DURING THE INVESTIGATION, NISSAN IDENTIFIED THAT THERE HAD BEEN ALTERNATOR WARRANTY REPLACEMENTS DUE TO AN OPEN CIRCUIT IN THE ROTOR COIL CAUSED BY WIRE FATIGUE. ODI’S ANALYSIS SHOWS FAILURE RATES THAT ARE OF CONCERN TO ODI AND INDICATES THAT THE ALLEGED DEFECT IS CONTINUING TO OCCUR IN THE SUBJECT VEHICLES. ODI'S ANALYSIS ALSO SHOWS THAT NEARLY ALL OF THE ALTERNATOR WARRANTY CLAIMS SUBMITTED RESULTED IN ENGINE STALLS AND AT LEAST 25% OF THE ENGINE STALLS RESULTED IN A NO RESTART CONDITION. HOWEVER, IN 71% OF THE WARRANTY DATA SUBMITTED, ODI HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO DETERMINE IF THE CONSUMER COULD RESTART THE VEHICLE. THIS PRELIMINARY EVALUATION HAS BEEN UPGRADED TO AN ENGINEERING ANALYSIS TO FURTHER INVESTIGATE THIS CONCERN, TO ASSESS THE POTENTIAL SAFETY-RELATED CONSEQUENCES, AND TO DETERMINE THE SCOPE OF THE AFFECTED POPULATION.
RichE :confused:
 

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Wow upgraded suggests that the investigation found something significant and they are taking further action on it. Might we finally be getting a recall?!

edit: An engineering analysis. Well, thats a step in the right direction.
 

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Finally..I am glad we finally see the fruit

of the forum member's efforts...
:4:

TO newer forum members, dont forget to keep filing that alternator complain if yours fail.
Again, link: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
 

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At the NHTSA website, you can download the actual ODI investigation reports. One interesting statistic - as of 3/25/2005, there were 1,547 reported warranty claims for the alternator for 2003-2004 MY Muranos.

I think the news in this thread is important for all people on this message board, so I'm making it a sticky.
 

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^^ hehhe... just did mine.
it failed sometime in feb but never put it in NHTSA's website
 

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I wish there was a way (or maybe there is) NHTSA could force Nissan to release its alternator replacement records to them directly but until then it is up to us to make sure this effort goes forward.

My alternator has not died yet but like most, I am keeping an eye for the day the expected unexpected happens. Meanwhile I have asked at least one person at my work who owns a Murano with a faild alternator to file the complaint. She does not belong to any forums and did not know how widespread the problem was. I also try to let other MO owners know about the alternator and Power Steering issue when I take my car in for service. Boy do they (dealership) love me for it!

I am sure there are many other MO owners who are not members of any forums, so they either don't know that the alternator failure is so common or that it is a safety issue so they never file a complaint with NHTSA. Let's let them know.... :)
 

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Maybe we should design a bumper sticker:

IF YOU CAN READ THIS MY ALTERNATOR FAILED, PLEASE FILE A NHTSA REPORT FOR ME."

:p


I've got 17K miles on mine... I think I'm hitting the increased odds of failure... until what something like 30K then the odds reduce?
 

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To be fair, even though I knew the alternator was going to eventually fail, the dealer did repair it promptly this time. Unlike with my Maxima, when my alternator was making all sorts of odd noises and they called it normal - of course the next evening it failed, and my dealer refused to repair it under warranty so I had to use AAA to tow it another 30 miles to the next nearest dealer.

Even if we do not get a recall out of this, I do hope we get the hear the technical explaination for why the alternators are failing.
 

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You mean beyond this from Richies second post?

"DURING THE INVESTIGATION, NISSAN IDENTIFIED THAT THERE HAD BEEN ALTERNATOR WARRANTY REPLACEMENTS DUE TO AN OPEN CIRCUIT IN THE ROTOR COIL CAUSED BY WIRE FATIGUE"

"wire fatigue" on a new alternator does sound hokey.

Homer
 

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hfelknor said:
You mean beyond this from Richies second post?

"DURING THE INVESTIGATION, NISSAN IDENTIFIED THAT THERE HAD BEEN ALTERNATOR WARRANTY REPLACEMENTS DUE TO AN OPEN CIRCUIT IN THE ROTOR COIL CAUSED BY WIRE FATIGUE"

"wire fatigue" on a new alternator does sound hokey.

Homer
I want more info! :p
 

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I agree with Homer. On a device that has no movement of the wire, I'm surprised to see that.

Although, one thought occurs to me. If the wire is underratted and is getting heated significantly, under certain high load conditions, I wonder if that would fatique it and make it brittle.

Could be a non copper electrical connection, such as a stamped metal part, that is failing as it gets heated and cooled...

Just speculating of course, as I can't see how copper windings in the alternator would fail, so what's left?
 

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Any chance the re-manufactured replacement alternator is any better than the original? And what about those people who had repeat failures? Are all of the original type bad, and possibly only the "E" type in the 2005's okay?
 

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that is the reason...

Any chance the re-manufactured replacement alternator is any better than the original? And what about those people who had repeat failures? Are all of the original type bad, and possibly only the "E" type in the 2005's okay?
There are repeated failures of the alt.
The remanufactured alternator does not guarantee that the problem has been solved.
That is why keep filing the complain to NHTSA is a must!
If you get a reman alt and after 36K miles, your warranty expires, and the alt fails again....you have to pay for an alt replacement if NHTSA still have not force nissan to admit there IS an alt problem.
You dont want this do you?
 

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Yup, I filed my NHTSA complaint early on.

I'm just wondering if the "wire fatigue" issue would likely apply to a re-manufactured alternator.

There have been some repeat failures, but not as many as I'd expect. Maybe it's still too early. I also haven't gotten the reponses I've hoped for to determine whether the failed replacements were typically re-manufactured or "new". It's standard practice for Nissan to use re-manufactured alternators as the replacements, but I believe at least one person reported getting a new one of the older type.

(By the way, my alternator already DID go after 36,000 miles! But that was the original!)
 

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Difference between PE and EA

FYI - for those wondering, NHTSA's upgrade means that the investigation is moving on to the next stage. Generally, a Preliminary Evaluation is a look see to determine if a problem exists. At this stage, a manufacturer gets a chance to provide information and data (e.g., warranty return rates) and an explanation of what happened. Most times, manufacturers will also put forth their case of whether the alleged defect is safety related or not.

Under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, NHTSA has the authority to order recalls for vehicles or equipment that fails to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards OR for defects that are "safety-related." The question of whether a defect is "safety-related" or not is often the subject of much debate and negotiation between NHTSA and the target manufacturer.

If NHTSA is not satisfied with the data and explanation provided by the manufacturer at the PE stage and believes that further inquiry is warranted, the Agency will "upgrade" the investigation to an Engineering Analysis. In this stage, NHTSA may actually obtain defective parts and check them - and they will further grill the manufacturer. An EA is the last step before an ordered recall. Unless the manufacturer has got a darned good explanation - i.e., better than the one they tried at the PE stage, a recall will result. Although recalls do not always occur after an EA, you can bet that Nissan's got some 'splainin' to do!
 

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So ..what we need to do next is.

wait and cross our finger. Hopefully, NNA will be forced to recall the alternator and we can peacefully drive our MO for long distance once and for all...
 

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Actually we need to continue to nag people to fill out a NHTSA report when their Alt fails.
Nothing speaks louder than numbers.


And it wouldn't hurt to make people more aware of the safety issue here............

Homer
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was wondering if there might be another possibility. Maybe someone else would know, but couldn't NNA be required to extend the Warranty Coverage on just the alternator to (for instance) 5Yrs / 60,000 miles?
RichE :confused:
 
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