Debra (not her real name pending a lawsuit) is one disgruntled customer. She regrets not being aware of so many online forums about the Infiniti brake defects before paying for her brakes to be fixed—at only 19,000 miles!
"In February 2005 I bought my Infiniti 2005 G35 X and I don't drive a lot of miles," says Debra. "I live in a condo conveniently located to everything I do so I am very fortunate. Given those circumstances I expected this car –which was not inexpensive—to last a very long time.
I was about to leave on a road trip when I took my car to the dealer for its 15,000 mile check-up, and right away I received a call from my service rep--the brakes had to be replaced. I was shocked! I am certainly not an expert in the mechanics of a car but during my entire life I had never purchased breaks, having bought a new car every 4 or 5 years. 'But it must be under warranty,' I asked. 'Oh, brakes aren't covered by that warranty,' she said. 'Brakes are maintenance.'
I questioned her more about it. I needed my car in good safe working condition and I needed it now. 'Isn't this awfully soon for the brakes to go?' I questioned. She assured me this was normal. So what could I do? I just told her to go ahead and fix them. I got a bill for just under $1,000 (about $650 was for the brakes). This was September of 2008.
On April 2, 2009 I came home from vacation and had been gone for 6 days. The Infiniti was dead as a doornail. I called AAA and thought I might need a new battery so I got one and it worked for 48 hours. I called the repair shop where I bought the battery, waiting for AAA to come out again. I asked what could be causing the problem. 'You likely have an electrical drain on your battery and you might want to bring it in,' they said.
I googled 'electrical drain on the batteries of Infiniti 2005 G35 X'. All kinds of information came up on these models. I read enough to know that this is another common problem, just like the brake defect. I also found out how many other people had the same brake problem and I found out the dealer often paid for the brakes…
AAA towed my car to the dealer on Saturday afternoon, just when their shop closed. Now it is 6 weeks out of warranty. I talked to my service rep just before she left. I said there was an electrical drain and I have no intention of paying for this because Infiniti knows about their problem.
They said the problem was the body control module—a $700 part. On April 7th they said the part was in and the factory was paying for it. Next day, they had it installed but wanted to check my car overnight. Now, one week later, oops, didn't solve the problem and they will have to look into it further. Another man told me that paperwork had just come in and the problem was a power switch on the right seat—the part is $2,500. 'The factory is paying for this, right?' I said. 'Oh sure, you only have 19,000 miles on your car.' But he didn't realize my warranty had expired.
The service rep told me both switches were stuck, it is going to cost $2,900 and the factory is not paying for it. She told me I could have spilled something—like it was my fault! I don't have kids, I don't eat and drink in my car. I was very frustrated and needed to think about it. I was going to call consumer affairs at Infiniti first.
Their regional specialist said he would get back to me…
I finally talked to the regional specialist and explained everything to her. She said I would hear back from her tomorrow. Which is today. I don't know how this dealership stays in business.
I have a love-hate relationship with this car. If I have to give it up because of these maintenance costs, which are really defects, I will really miss it. It is the best car to drive that I have ever owned in my life and I have never slid on snow in this car. But I might take a slide with these brake problems."