Attorneys with Gibbs Law Group and co-counsel filed class action lawsuits against Toyota, Mazda, and Nissan alleging that the dashboards on certain model year Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, Nissan, and Infiniti vehicles melt, become sticky, and cast a glare on the windshield that makes it difficult for drivers to see.
Sticky dashboards across vehicle models
The models that have received the most complaints on the NHTSA website are the 2007 Toyota Camry and 2008 Nissan Altima.
Melted dashboard glare poses safety issues
In complaints posted on the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration website and other online forums, consumers describe the dashboard as becoming sticky and gooey, and coming off in chunks if touched.
Consumers also complain that the melting dashboard creates a reflection or glare on the windshield that impedes their ability to see the road and their surroundings.
Clarence Ditlow, the executive Director for the Center for Automotive Safety, has declared that the hundreds of consumer complaints about this problem indicate that the melting dashboards are a result of a “widespread defect” resulting from poor engineering.
Melted dash repair may cost thousands
Even though the alleged melting makes it difficult for drivers to see, according to consumer complaints, vehicle manufacturers generally were not offering to repair the defect for free outside of warranty. The cost to repair the alleged defect can be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Repairs now available
After the class action lawsuits were filed, Toyota and Mazda implemented programs to replace melting dashboards in many models. If you have a Toyota or Mazda vehicle with a melting dashboard, contact your local dealership about obtaining a replacement.
In the Nissan lawsuit, the parties reached a class-wide settlement on the eve of trial under which Nissan will pay all but $250 of the cost to replace melting dashboards on 2008 and 2009 Altima vehicles purchased in Florida and owned by a Florida resident. The Court granted final approval of the Nissan dashboard settlement on January 6, 2017. Nissan owners can visit www.FloridaAltimaClassActionSettlement.com for more information and to submit a claim.