Thursday, March 09, 2006

Windows... essential feature, or optional?

I suspect that 90% of you who read the title of this entry will assume this is going to be some geeky rant about Microsoft Windows and some buggy feature, or perhaps a dissertation on the merits of Windows versus Linux, or perhaps something completely unrelated to windows at all.

Well you're all wrong. The complaint I have is about the power windows on my 2001 Nissan Altima. As anyone who has ridden in my car with me no doubt knows, sometime last fall, just at the tail end of the Seattle heat waves of 2005, my passenger-side power window stopped working, well, effectively. It went down without any problem at all, but had serious issues rolling back up. Obviously something was broken in the mechanism, which I verified by actually ripping half of the door apart to see if it was anything easily fixable, which it wasn't. My conclusion, "hey, these things happen" and I'd get it fixed in the Spring when I actually cared about having a window that opens again.

Flash forward to February, for some reason I had the need to roll down the rear window on the passenger side, and as I was rolling it back up what happened... it was starting to act just like the front one! One broken window, reasonable accidental breakage... two broken windows, something's definitely not right.

After a little research on the internet last night, I find that there is a known issue with the windows on certain 2001 Altimas, exactly the issue that I am having. So this morning I gave a call up to my local Nissan dealer and talk to their service department. They look up the VIN number of my car in their system, and lo and behold, there's a voluntary recall / replacement program for all 4 window regulators on my car. Though in Nissan's infinite wisdom (or at least their lawyers, no doubt), they were covered under a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty extension, which puts the warranty expiration out to... March 30, 2006. Good thing I called when I did.

Of course, I don't recall ever getting a notice about this impending failure of my window regulators, or I probably would have done something the moment I noticed a problem. The minor caveat is that the mileage on my car is I believe about 61,000 miles. If they disqualify my warranty replacement because of that, just watch me go after Nissan's corporate goons and raise a fuss. I've been 100% satisfied with my car, many times extolled the greatness and trouble-free maintenance of my car, and would definitely consider getting another Nissan next time I buy a car... that should be worth far more to Nissan than angering me over silly window regulators that they know are faulty. I don't expect it to come to that, but I'm ready if it happens because no doubt retail price to fix 4 power window regulators probably runs in the $1000+ range.

Long blog short, I have an appointment to take my car in on Tuesday to get all 4 regulators replaced. Hope for the best.

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