Car dashboards are literally melting, car owners say

ATLANTA — Car dashboards, literally melting away. For seven years now, Channel 2 Action news has been reporting on problems with melting dashboards in certain model Nissans. But the car company will not replace or fix them.

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“It’s gross, it’s disgusting, it’s like slime. It feels like goo,” said Nick Petrus back in 2019 when he showed Channel 2 Investigative reporter Justin Gray the dashboard in his 2008 Nissan Altima.

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“It’s an intense glare when you’re not looking at it through the iPhone,” Adam Klock said as he tried to show Gray via Zoom why the issue is more than just a sticky mess. Drivers say it is also a serious safety issue.

‘It’s a very shiny dashboard. It reflects the sun right up into your face. Sometimes it renders your car useless, because of the safety issue,” Klock said.

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The melting dashboards have been reported in 2007 to 2013 Nissan Altimas and Maximas.

More than 1,000 complaints have been filed with federal regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

One NHTSA complaint we found said that the glare caused an accident. The driver wrote that he or she was now “living with fear every time I commute.”

This month, the Center for Auto Safety has sent a new letter to NHTSA, demanding it step in.

It also sent a letter to Nissan asking for a recall.

“It almost seems like they’re just wanting them to just cycle out and people send them to the junkyard. But that’s not happening anytime soon,” said Jason Levine, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety.

Four years ago, Nissan settled a class action lawsuit and agreed to fix melting dashboards for car owners only in the state of Florida.

Nissan owners in the other 49 states, are out of luck

“The idea that this is a one state problem is just belied by reality,” Levine said.

Nissan issued a statement, saying: “Nissan denies the claims made in the letter written by the Center for Auto Safety. The issues described in that letter have not been found to pose a safety concern and have been asserted only by a limited number of vehicle owners.”

“They have the temerity to claim it’s not a safety issue. It’s clearly a safety issue. Glare creates hazardous condition when driving. They have to fix it,” Levine said.

Nissan told Adam Klock they would replace his dash, if he paid them $2,700 to $3,000.

Instead, he stuck felt on the dash to try to block out some of the dangerous glare.

Over the years, owners of other car models have also reached out to us with similar complaints.