A horse owner has sworn not to use her Nissan Navara to tow in future, after a number of cases of the model’s chassis snapping.
Kerstin Maile says she wants others to be aware of the issue, although Nissan says the Navaras are safe to drive if “properly maintained, serviced and with an up to date MoT certificate”.
Nissan says a “relatively small number” of Navaras has been affected, and that the issue relates to corrosion affecting the chassis.
“I’m absolutely horrified,” Ms Maile told H&H.
“It’s terrifying; these vehicles’ chassis have just snapped, there’s no other way of describing it.
“Imagine if that happened while you were towing horses – it doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Ms Maile, who lives in south Wales, said she bought the car as she needed a “workhorse”, to “safely ferry my horses about, to competitions and beach rides”.
“But it’s off the road at the moment, I’m not happy to drive it,” she said.
“I’m scared. Even if they do test or inspect it and say it’s fine, I have absolutely no confidence in the car.”
Ms Maile bought the vehicle for £14,000 on finance four years ago so has not yet paid for it entirely.
“I was homeless from May and have only moved in somewhere two months ago,” she added. “It’s been horrific and I was just getting back on my feet when I heard about this issue; I can’t afford to replace the vehicle.
“I’m really scared for people who are trusting the car to tow their horses safely, yet Nissan won’t recall them; they’re dealing with customers individually and the way they’re handling it leaves a lot to be desired.”
Ms Maile, pictured above with her horse Rio, who has since been put to sleep, has now been told by Nissan that if her car is “condemned”, they will buy it back. “At market price, which is a minimum £3,000 less than the finance left on it,” she said. “They’ll pay the finance company and I’m left to pay whatever is left and they won’t replace my truck either. It’s awful.”
A spokesman for the manufacturer said: “We’re aware of an issue in a relatively small number of previous generation Navaras (D40) and have taken action.
“As long as these vehicles are properly maintained, serviced and MoTd, they are safe to drive, and therefore we are dealing with each customer on a case by case basis. As is standard industry practice, we only recall a vehicle when there’s a safety issue.
“We’ve put measures in place to quickly resolve the concerns of any customers who have contacted us about this. Nissan is backing customers even though the affected vehicles are up to 12 years old.
“Depending on the age of the vehicle, these measures include a free and independent inspection of the vehicle where appropriate. If the inspection shows there’s an issue, we’ll do the right thing by the customer under our warranty and customer service policies.
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“Many vehicles which have been checked have had no issue, however should any concern be found we have a number of options. This could range from directing the customer to appropriate repair, supporting costs, repairing the vehicle or even exchanging it.
“Any concerned customers should contact the Nissan Care team on 0330 1231231.”