By on November 21, 2008

“It’s gone,” said (an anonymous “high ranking Nissan executive”) when asked if launch control would return in 2010. “We just don’t want to deal with the warranty nightmare anymore. It’ll make the 2009 GT-R really special. It’ll be the only R35 with launch control.”

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18 Comments on “2010 GTR Losing Launch Control...”


  • avatar

    Uh…then why do the real exotics still have LC (and their variations of)?

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    Weak (Nissan and its transmission)

  • avatar
    Stingray

    What? Remove the launch control to… cover a weak tranny?

    What kind of small print will have the 2010 manual?

    This hype-mobile… tsk tsk tsk

  • avatar
    AllStingNoBling

    I was gung-ho on an R35 GT-R. It is truly a car that is something else. I but I realized that for everyday life, it is too much.

    The final nail on my decision was the Launch Control issue. I’m sorry Nissan, but what a bitch move. Why would you add that particular – and one of the defining – feature on the car, and then say: if you use it, kiss your warranty good-bye? That is an asshole thing to do. People were paying anywhere from $70,000 on up for your engineering and manufacturing, and you cannot even stand behind it.

    I do have to say thanks though. I was undecided as to what I want up until then. Believe me, I will thoroughly enjoy my E90 M3 Sedan come spring. And, hey, if I decide to get the M-DCT on my M3, I know BMW will not void my warranty if I use their Launch Control system.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I know BMW will not void my warranty if I use their Launch Control system.

    True, but there’s a very good chance that a) the upkeep of the M3 will be much higher and b) once the warranty ends you’ll be in world of hurt.

    People who buy M3s, RS4s and C63 AMGs, never mind Italian money-pit maintenance princessesexotica are probably prepared for the “Ultimate Dealership Service Department Experience”. One of the charms of the Japanese premium cars is that they’ve never really been much more cost-intensive than their mundane brethren.

    Take the NSX, for example: yes, you only got maybe 85-90% of the experience of a Ferrari or Porsche, but you got it at 90% of the maintenance costs, especially as it ages. The same goes for the Supra, S2000, 300ZX/350Z, WRX or even the Miata and MR2. (and yes, the Corvette, too).

    Now, Nissan may be wimping out here, and yes, the GT-R might not be as cheap to run as it’s older brethren, let alone an Altima, but even without launch control there’s no way this car is going to damage it’s owners’ bank accounts in the way a European car of equivalent ability certainly would.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    AllStingNoBling :
    November 21st, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I was gung-ho on an R35 GT-R. It is truly a car that is something else. I but I realized that for everyday life, it is too much.

    The final nail on my decision was the Launch Control issue. I’m sorry Nissan, but what a bitch move. Why would you add that particular – and one of the defining – feature on the car, and then say: if you use it, kiss your warranty good-bye? That is an asshole thing to do. People were paying anywhere from $70,000 on up for your engineering and manufacturing, and you cannot even stand behind it.

    I do have to say thanks though. I was undecided as to what I want up until then. Believe me, I will thoroughly enjoy my E90 M3 Sedan come spring. And, hey, if I decide to get the M-DCT on my M3, I know BMW will not void my warranty if I use their Launch Control system.

    BMW voided powertrain warranties on SMG M3s that had the launch control triggered more than a certain number of times, so you might want to check on that one for M-DCT. In the US, they dropped the LC RPMs from something like 4500 to 2500rpm because they know we’re litigious jackasses and want to reduce their internal warranty costs. I’m not sure if M-DCT will have the same limitations, though.

    In defense of Nissan, LC wasn’t an advertised feature and Nissan never advertised 0-60 times. The marketplace set it’s own expectations. Do you need to use LC at every stoplight?

    As far as paying 70k for the engineering, think about how many people paid 90k+ for a base Porsche Carrera and the rear main seal pops out from a design flaw in the engine casing and how many people would complain if the GTR wasn’t sold here.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Dont forget this the company that put a dana 44 rear diff in a full size truck with a 381 hp v8 and the ability to supposedly tow 4 tons. And wondered why the warranty claims surfaced in droves when the rear went snap…

  • avatar
    AllStingNoBling

    @ psarhjinian

    I read you, but I have to say: Everything is expensive now. I own a WRX, and a clutch job from the dealer service department is $1200, ask me how I know.

    Owning a high performance car is expensive. Period. If anybody thinks otherwise, they are kidding themselves.

    I also know that those older Japanese high performance cars you mentioned above are not as cheap to maintain, or as bullet proof as you would like them to be. Turbo chargers aren’t cheap. Rotors wear out (performance rotors are pricey). Unless you drive a Civic, Japanese cars are NOT silver bullets against service costs. Things break, and quality equipment, no matter where it comes from, costs quality money. Having owned nothing but Japanese cars, I speak from experience.

    I am willing to bet that replacing the stock clutch on the E90 M3 (6MT, not M-DCT) is north of $1200, but guess what: it is also a twin disk, dual mass unit.

  • avatar
    gakoenig

    True, but there’s a very good chance that a) the upkeep of the M3 will be much higher and b) once the warranty ends you’ll be in world of hurt.

    I have a 2006 325i with 66k on the odometer (I drive from PDX to SFO and SEA a whole bunch for work). For the first 50k miles, the BMW warranty was excellent and their free maintenance rocked. I got new rotors and pads (front twice, rear once), free wiper blades, free oil changes, everything. I just paid for tires and gas. I also extended the warranty for $1000 when I bought the car. They replaced two wheel bearings, the drive shaft and the rear diff when it had a very minor clunking noise.

    The kicker is that the dealer knows full well that I track the car a few weekends a year. In fact, they encourage it. Even so, every issue I’ve ever had has been taken care of graciously and without any worry that they might try to screw me over.

    So sure, when you hit 100k on the clock, ANY German car is going to start getting you with big bills. The answer here – sell the vehicle after 100k or man up and realize that the sales price of these vehicles reflects the maintenance bills after the odo kicks over. The sort of people buying $60k M3s don’t really give a hoot about maintenance bills in the 5-7 years it takes for that time to come.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    Somehow I beat Launch-Control will still be available on the GT-R. It will be hidden, but there will be some trick you can use to enable it. This will allow those that are not concerned about the abuse to have all the fun they want while taking the warranty issues off the table for Nissan. IMO smart move, Nissan is in the business of seliing real world cars to real world people with average driving skills and very limited understanding of automotive engineering. I bet the problem is people are abusing this abusive feature lunching the car in LC mode over and over again without letting anything cool off.

    From everything I have seen and read launch-control IS abusive to the drivetrain of every car that it is offered in. By it nature it is a silly idea and only uses a computer to commit the same crimes on a car that an abusive driver does with just his left and right feet. In other words it is just a marketing gimick for those fools that wish to measure their manhood in terms of how fast their car can go from 0 to 60.

    A clutch is a clutch, it does not matter if you have one or two, or if it is attached to a pedal or computer! If you keep dropping the clutch at or above 4000rpms you are going to damage it or burn it out is short order.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    gakoenig :

    I think BMW has incentivized dealerships to perform warranty/maintenance repairs so it’s in their interest to have your car in often. Plus they want to keep you happy so you come back for another BMW. They replaced the cylinder head on my friend’s e92 328i, even though it was the valvetronic stepper that was the problem and gave him a rental car.

    Nissan probably doesn’t have the same setup for the GTR.

    whatdoiknow1 :
    Someone once found out that a lot of cars hit 62 mph at the very top of 2nd gear…presumably for 0-60 times. And if you flash the GTR to re-enable LC, it DEFINITELY voids the warranty…

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    BMW dealers are hit and miss, but my buddy recently got a major break on some post warranty repairs.

    One thing about the M3 though, unless the market changes, the insanely low depreciation will make up for a LOT of expensive repairs.

  • avatar

    AWD and driveline durability rarely go hand in hand. This is just more vidication for the RWD fanbois.

  • avatar
    kansei

    Any car company can (and many do) void your warranty for track use (and yes, they consider autocross to be track use). Heck, some will blacklist you if they find out you have an SCCA membership (always race under a pseudonym or use initials haha).

    There is no reason at all, no conceivable legitimate use of launch control when you are not on a track. none. So this isn’t really any different than voiding your warranty for tracking a car. You think their race teams have a “warranty” on their cars? Hell no. Now Nissan has some nice reporting, and with that cool new ways to void warranties by monitoring how you use your car.

    Does it suck if they void your warranty? Sure, but it’s there in the fine print (that you damn well should read when buying a car). No matter how fun/capable a car may be on track, you bought a street car, not a track car. Never expect the car company to cover you for damage done to the car racing.

    And to all you GT-Rs that constantly try to race me from stop lights using launch control, I laugh in your general direction. Please, I drive a station wagon.. I don’t care if it’s turbocharged and looks a bit fast, it’s a friggin station wagon. If you want to race me, I’ll gladly do so on the track.

  • avatar
    yellow_04

    Ever hear of the aftermarket? Launch control is nothing but programming it will probably be cracked a week after 2010s roll out.

  • avatar
    gakoenig

    I think BMW has incentivized dealerships to perform warranty/maintenance repairs so it’s in their interest to have your car in often. Plus they want to keep you happy so you come back for another BMW.

    Well, great customer service is a phenomenal marketing tool. Here I am telling people about how great the BMW warranty has been for me and my next car is going to be the X5 diesel (though BMW is getting a nasty letter about this BS “X drive 35d” stupid name).

    kansei
    First: Dealerships who void warranties for autocross events are rare. I know of a Subaru dealer who did that, but none of the warranty voids they tried to push actually stuck. That is an excellent way for a lawsuit to happen.

    Second: Why is there no ligitimate use for launch control on the street? I mean, where do you draw the line? We sell 500bhp sedans. 200bhp motorcycles. Even my grocery getter 325i offers a level of performance about 30% beyond what I ever could use properly on the road.

    Launch Control was a headline feature for this car, a vehicle designed for the video game set to boot. Nissan knew full well that GT-R drivers would hit that bad boy like monkeys with the happy button. Shame on them for deploying a warranty voiding switch.

  • avatar
    Redshift

    Landcrusher: Regarding M3 depreciation, I’ve always thought they suffered from heavy depreciation. There are a number of young “enthusiasts” around here upgrading from their 10 year old modified Civic’s into E46 M3s because they can get them so cheaply. However, that may be partially due to the premium price they charge for them new in Canada, so the depreciation is worse.

    As for the new models, the local dealership here recently got tired of looking at their E92 M3 sitting in the showroom and sold a car stickered at $90K CDN for $64K.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    When you send 500+ lb/ft of torque through a transmission to launch a 4000 lb vehicle forward as quickly as possible, that transmission won’t last long.

    Ask any former Mitsubishi 3000GT owner. Or any Eclipse/Talon/Laser owner. Or any WRX owner. Because all-wheel-drive vehicle do not have much tire slippage when it is launched, there is a lot of stress applied to the drivetrain parts, and something will give. That’s the reasoning behind Mitsubishi putting a fairly inadequate clutch in the Evo VIII and IX.

    whatdoiknow1:
    Somehow I beat Launch-Control will still be available on the GT-R. It will be hidden, but there will be some trick you can use to enable it.

    I was reading a GT-R forum that got into a heated discussion about this, and from what I gather, the launch control already was a hidden feature. To activate it, disabling the VDC was necessary (vehicle dynamic control). However, Nissan’s warranty states that they will not cover any repairs if there is evidence of the car being driven with the VDC disabled, except for cases where it needed to be shut off to get the car out of the snow (BTW, you had to hold the VDC button for a few seconds to deactivate it, so it’s not something that can be shut off accidentally). Some owners also stated that they signed a written acknowledgment emphasizing this when they took delivery of their GT-R’s.

    Furthermore, the launch control was not an advertised feature, and there is no mention of it in their owner’s manual. It was never meant to be used on a regular basis, despite reports that magazines used it to determine 0-60 and 1/4-mile acceleration numbers.

    The fact that owners needed to perform a step that puts them at risk of not having their repairs covered should the car break should’ve been enough to deter owners from doing it, but it obviously wasn’t.

    If you’re going to dump that much money into a car for sheer acceleration thrills, then your money is better spent on a used Mustang. At least you know their antiquidated solid axle can take the pounding.

    http://www.nagtroc.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=25361


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