What is a CVT Transmission?

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When you go to a car dealership and begin looking at the cars and trucks, more often than not the vehicles available fall into clear categories. Choosing between a manual and automatic transmission, or diesel or gasoline engine, is a sensible, expected process and most people have a clear understanding of what they are buying in advance. Unfortunately, many Nissan owners have discovered not every automatic transmission is the same and that the CVT transmission is facing significant issues. Understanding CVT transmission failure is critical for any Nissan owner facing problems, especially when critical deadlines may be looming regarding legal rights and more. 

CVT is an acronym for ‘continuously variable transmission’ and references a unique transmission that differs from the common automatic transmission’s design and system. A CVT transmission utilizes pulleys and a steel belt to adjust RPMs as you accelerate and decelerate. Where a common automatic transmission utilizes gears to achieve this driving behavior, the CVT does not have any gears and is instead supposed to seamlessly speed up and slow down without the gear-changing hesitation most people are used to. 

You can see a video here that shows in more specific detail how a CVT transmission works. In theory, the science behind a CVT transmission would make for a smoother driving experience because the vehicle is not required to upshift or downshift to a different gear alignment in order to increase or decrease RPMs. The problem is that the steel belt and pulley system does not always perform as desired, leading to confusion on whether the CVT transmission is actually failing or just moving up and down as designed. Failure, though, is very much an issue for far too many Nissan owners. 

Reactions about the CVT transmission as a technology, though, are mixed. The reason is that CVT transmission reliability can vary significantly. One only needs to review the Nissan section of CarComplaints.com to see that complaints about the CVT transmission are widespread. With the cost of replacing a CVT transmission somewhere between three and five thousand dollars, Nissan owners who find out their unconventional transmission is a known issue can be understandably angry and frustrated. That the CVT transmission is installed in so many different Nissan vehicles means that the issue extends beyond one certain model or year and, instead, across a significant portion of the manufacturer’s entire lineup.

After working to help thousands Ford Focus and Fiesta owners who have had their own transmission issues, our firm is now representing hundreds of Nissan owners nationally, with nearly 500 cases already filed in California alone. If you are having issues with your CVT transmission, it is important you contact our firm and find out how we can try and help you move forward on this difficult issue.