Monday, January 26, 2009

On a Quest for a Reliable Nissan Van

Last week, I traded the Toyota Sienna van for a 2009 Nissan Quest. What led to the trade, other than a very competitive deal from Gwinnett Place Nissan? A growing intolerance for a pair of Toyota seats taking up too much space in my garage, for one thing. I desire for a stereo system with better full-range sound, for another. The Quest has almost-fold-flat second row seating (it's flat enough to work for what I need, anyway), and the Bose sound system is much more impressive than the JBL system in the old Toyota (which was in turn much better than the muddy system in the Honda I owned before that).

There's a problem, though: somehow, in prepping the Quest for delivery, either Gwinnett Place Nissan or the people with whom they subcontracted to install front park-assist sensors managed to turn the van into a fire hazard. They somehow disconnected the fog light in the front bumper, leaving it dangling so that the very, very, very hot bulb was in direct contact with the inside edge of the bumper. The plastic bumper, in turn, responded by melting and smouldering... two things you really don't want your bumper to do. And believe me, it's not a pleasant surprise when your garage smoke alarm goes off shortly after you get home from a trip to Target--and it's doubly disturbing when you open the garage door to the sight and smell of smoke coming from underneath your car!

Doug Wells, the sales manager of Gwinnett Nissan, says that they'll come over and pick up the van tomorrow and see what needs to be done to make it right. I'll be honest, though: this doesn't instill a great deal of confidence in the dealership or the vehicle. (I also suspect that this problem has shorted out the front parking sensors as well, making the problem even more complicated.)

If they still had the 2008 Toyota (and I don't think they do), I'd just trade back with 'em and call the deal off. I don't think that's gonna happen, though, so we'll see what they can do to make it right... I'll keep everybody in the loop...

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