Kizashi Club

Your Kizashi Owners Club and Forum 

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 #48096  by PallyBoy
 Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:27 pm
I previously posted about my daughters '10 Kizashi that left her stranded, frightened, and in harms way, when the transmission just shutdown on a busy highway. I've since read everything than I can about these CVT problems, and it seems that it is inherent in the early Kizashi's yet there is no recall as there has been on the later ones. Maybe I'm a little naive, but how do these recalls get started; there certainly seems to be many people on this site who have experienced everything from add CVT fluid to catastrophic failure; the jury is still out on my daughter's car. However, I did send a letter to JATCO informing them of their irresponsibility, their negligence, and their cupability if someone is injured or worse, in an accident caused by the failure of their product. And it's not so much the mechanical failure, since this seems to be well documented, it's the human failure on their part of knowing that the problem exists, their knowing how to trouble shoot and correct, and their moral failure in taking accountability and notifying the owners and providing corrective action.
I'd like to know if anyone else has contacted these people and if anyone has ever received a response. Why should Suzuki be allowed to re-enter the US market before they and their suppliers correct the problems they previoulsy left here before they took off.
I say keep them out until the make things right!! Anyone agree??
 #48097  by Ronzuki
 Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:49 am
NHSTA...and be aware, there were never enough Kizashis in the country for the model to even be a blip on their radar. https://www.nhtsa.gov/

My wife and daughter both can sit buckled in the pass front seat and the pass airbag light comes on. Meaning it won't deploy if need be (unlikely since I'm alone in the thing 99.98% of the time). Dealer said way back when everything is fine. Meaning the computers say so despite actual photos indicating otherwise. No codes, no faults, right? Kicked it up to the NHTSA (whudda joke)...crickets.

Keep them out? Nah, I won't vote for that, too much good to outweigh the bad in my experience with Suzuki since they first started selling autos in the states. Don't worry none...they won't be back for a very long time if ever. What about all the manufacturers using Takada air bags? Keep them out too? They are in fact dragging their feet replacing millions of steering wheel grenades? GM can go away as far as I'm concerned and so can Jeep, however, the reality is 'they all' simply just don't care. They all being everyone involved...auto manufacturers, their component suppliers and the gov. Strength in numbers to get something done, and numbers Kizashi owners don't have.
 #48104  by KuroNekko
 Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:28 am
While I understand your frustrations and anger given the situation involving your daughter, I can't see how this is an issue for a recall. The CVT is far from an ideal transmission but the failures are more common now as many Kizashis reach higher mileage. In fact, Suzuki offered a rather generous powertrain warranty that covered the CVT longer than most other manufacturers cover their engines and transmissions. In essence, it's not that these CVTs are spontaneously failing from a serious design flaw but rather wearing out sooner than many consumers would deem acceptable, even if past the 7 year/100,000 mile warranty period. It didn't help that these CVTs were regarded as service-free while under warranty. However, again, at a mileage or age past the comparatively generous powertrain warranty offered by Suzuki, I don't think one can expect JATCO or Suzuki to do anything about failed transmissions that are at least several years old and/or have six digits in mileage. Also, these sorts of problems are not limited to either company and CVTs are known to be problematic across various makes and models. In fact, different types of transmissions have different flaws and defects. Whether DCTs, CVTs, or torque converter automatics, various types have their own issues. Some are certainly much worse than the Kizashi's CVT.

Again, while it's a frustrating circumstance, it's unlikely something that warrants a recall, all things considered. The Kizashi isn't a new car and Suzuki stopped selling new models in the US and Canada in 2013... half a decade ago.
 #48110  by PallyBoy
 Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:54 pm
Quick question on CVT with regard to troubleshooting. When my daughters Kizashi is running and in Drive and with my foot on the gas, I can shift from Drive to Neutral to Reverse and back again without taking my foot off gas; there is no unusual noise or even difficulty in shifting. However, last nite I noticed that when I had my foot on the gas and the tach at 3000 when moving the shifter from D to R and back, that there was a drop in RPM's when I would go from N to D or N back to R. This is the first that I noticed any response to the transmission.
Does this reaction help in any way help to diagnose where the problem is with the transmission???
 #48116  by Ronzuki
 Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:25 am
No clue...too much electrical/electronic voodoo going on in there. I dropped my pan and saw there was as much wire up in there as aluminum. Scary since a simple wire issue could be the culprit. Wire immersed in very hot hydraulic fluid...what could go wrong? The FSM would probably have some type of flow chart for what's supposed to happen, and when, while shifting as you are describing. Problem is you'd need to be communicating with the TCM and/or ECM in order to attempt to figure out what may have failed.

Gutsy move though...tacking her up and running it through the gears. Hope you weren't in the garage or close to anything. Never know when it might want to all of a sudden start engaging again. Back in my Chevelle days, as a kid, I used to leave a lot of rubber behind me doing neutral slams like that :mrgreen: . (then I blew my rear ends pinion apart :oops: )...then I learned how to rebuild a posi-traction differential :roll: . Stupid kid...

That just reminded me...youngsters are notorious for not being completely stopped (read impatient) and with foot hard on the brakes before switching directions. It usually takes a bit of time for the trans to switch direction. If you don't wait for that process to complete and 'go', or the vehicle is rolling during the process, well, CVTs REALLY don't like that. It's in bold print in the owner's manual "damage may/will occur'. Took a while to get my wife out of that habit with her SX4. Maybe your damage stems from that phenomenon. What exactly that damage is I've no idea in a CVT I'm afraid.
 #48117  by PallyBoy
 Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:54 pm
Ron: Thanks for your input, and no the car is not in an enclosed area! Even though I have lots of room in front of me, I agree that it may just decide to up & go. What really irritates me is my daughter looked and looked before she bought the Kizashi. She bought it new in '10, had it always serviced in a timely fashion (by the dealer), has every service slip and receipt, and if you saw it today, it's still almost showroom condition. She did everything you would want a new car owner to do, and then out of nowhere the transmission failure. This is the reason for my frustration and aggravation.
 #48118  by Ronzuki
 Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:54 pm
Yes, I totally understand your frustration. Had 2 Heeps now (1 under Daimler and 1 under Fiat) that gave me similar grief. In fact, that is how I ended up w/ the Kizashi after unloading the Rubicon in trade. I was very leery about the CVT back then, but I had far bigger (soon to be catastrophic) issues w/ the Heep.

The issue here being that the transmissions actually did require service (in any 'car guy's' opinion) despite the fact nothing is mentioned anywhere in the owner's manual or the FSM. And therefore, it likely wasn't on any dealer's radar either. The TSB that came out July of 2017 is the first and only admission that, yeah, maybe, they should have had the fluid replaced on a more 'normal' schedule. Is that the root cause of your particular failure? Who knows w/o a tear-down, which, no one is going to do for free.

There was also a TSB published early on (that my dealer knew nothing about, which, is not at all surprising) for certain 2010's needing a TCM re-flash. I had the dealer look it up and my particular 2010 VIN wasn't affected by that issue. Maybe that's a leg to stand on. However, it's unlikely they're going to do anything for you at this point in time unless legal action is taken. An attorney contacting them is the only thing likely to even raise their eye-brows a bit. The question is do you really want to go there for the 4$-7k used, $7-9k new, it will cost for the trans replacement? Could you even get an attorney interested? Doubtful. I know when it comes to autos and lawsuits, the manufacturers are far better equipped legally and they know it.

It really is a crime that your daughter's well cared for car is completely useless.
 #48120  by PallyBoy
 Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:39 pm
And the even far greater problem is, that even if they were inclined to do something, once word got out, the flood gates would be open for anyone else with a CVT problem. The precedent would have been set and they'd be hard pressed to back pedal on that one. I could file a claim with the local district magistrate (max $8000) and I know she could win. However, that and a $1 gets you a cup of coffee. Thanks again, for your enlightening and knowledgeable information.
 #48123  by Woodie
 Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:23 am
This could happen to any car with an automatic transmission, more likely with a CVT. Once you're over 100K miles it's just a matter of when.
 #48126  by Ronzuki
 Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:30 pm
Unfortunately, very true. There is also a component here of what happens when manufacturers spend too many vehicle dollars on tech and not enough on the basics of a purpose built machine...purpose being to transport ones azz (reliably?) from point A to point B. More tech equals less dollars available to spend on the important parts...ya know, things like the engine and driveline.

While the Kizashi is a fairly reliable, relatively speaking 'low-tech' machine compared to today's vehicles, expect these types of situations to occur more frequently as time moves on. In part thanks to nanny-state requirements. After I retire, when my annual mileage will be far more predictable, I will never outright purchase to own another new vehicle. I'll be leasing until I croak (I'll have the time to wheel-n-deal). I suspect in the future however, leasing may not be as attractive as it is today since I suspect everyone will be doing it for the same reasons (to unload problems or avoid them all together). That can really mess up the lucrative used car trade. Since I sure as hell won't purchase a used/abused techno-marvel (read somebody else's nightmare). I talk to people who never have, nor would ever, considered leasing. I'm one of them. The conversations are centered around far too many things going wrong with vehicles that can never be resolved satisfactorily forcing a trade-in too early and losing serious money. My younger brother works at one of the East Coast's largest auction houses where lease vehicles, fleet or otherwise, primarily end up. All makes and models, high-end to low. 1000s of cars a month roll through there and he's one of a few responsible for pre-auction certifications. The stories I could type....the car biz's dirty secrets...