In a bulletin sent out to dealers today, Nissan has explained a number of changes to be made to the GT-R gearbox management software that will go into immediate effect for all future models sold in North America. The changes have already been implemented for Japanese and European spec cars, and will be available to existing GT-R customers as a retrofit.

The software update affects the way the vehicle launches from a standstill in two main ways. It increases the allowable rpm level beyond the current 2,000rpm limit when the VDC traction control system is switched on, but sadly it also decreases the maximum allowable rpm limit when the VDC is switched off.

This second setting was the GT-R’s magical launch control system that allowed the car to make 0-60mph sprints in just 3.3 seconds. The current setting allows the car to launch at 4,500rpm, while the software update will limit this to between 3,000 and 3,500rpm. The main reason behind the update was to prolong gearbox life, following a number of customer reports of damaged transaxles. The changes are purely a software update and feature no mechanical modifications.

Importantly, launching the updated car with VDC off still voids the warranty. Edmunds reports that only about 1% of GT-Rs sold in North America, or fewer than 18 cars, have been reported to have had transaxle damage.

It’s not clear if the changes will affect the upcoming SpecV model, so we will have to wait until the first test drivers occur after the car goes on sale in Japan next month.